Back in the 1980s, chef Douglas Rodriguez started the nouveau Cuban craze in Miami and then moved to New York, where he became a huge star. After returning to Miami, he opened Ola. The trendy minimalist decor feels dated, but the food is sophisticated and imaginative. Ceviche is a forte: the wahoo with watermelon jalapeño juice and cucumber sorbet is sublime. Dishes such as braised pork with black bean broth and steamed yucca remind smug foodies that Miami, not Manhattan, was first in the nuevo Latino scene. And the deconstructed key lime pie (served with meringue, vanilla bean ice-cream and toasted cinnamon walnut tuile) puts the original in the shade. Be warned: you’ll need to knock back a few mojitos to digest the Manhattan-style bill.
at 17th Street
|Cross street:||1745 James Avenue|
|Opening hours:||6–11pm Mon–Thu; 6pm–midnight Fri, Sat; 6–10pm Sun|
|Transport:||Bus M, W, South Beach Local|
|Price:||Main courses $18–$42|