It’s been a while since we last visited Juvia, the popular South Beach restaurant known for its fusion of Japanese, Peruvian and French cooking. While it was a great experience for our palates, it wasn’t so great for our wallets. Juvia’s quality food and view come at a premium price (and deservedly so).
Fortunately for us, Juvia’s new brunch items and prix-fixe lunch menu make the establishment much more approachable. There’s just something about Juvia’s Miami Beach view paired with a fun cocktail and delicious, budget-friendly fare that makes for a memorable meal. And that’s exactly what our most recent experience was.
For Juvia first-timers or those who want a comprehensive taste of the restaurant’s cuisine, the $23 prix-fixe option is a must. Comprised of an appetizer, main and dessert, the three-course affair provides value and satiety; just one or two items off the regular menu can be enough to put you over $23. Our server noted that the offerings are subject to change, but hopefully they don’t stray too far from the awesomeness we consumed.
Whenever the watermelon salad is available, get it. Nodini cheese, super-ripe cantaloupe spheres, baby arugula, feta crumbles and pata negra lit up our mouths with flavor — it’s so refreshing on a hot, humid Miami day (aka every day). The roasted young organic chicken was another standout, with its crisp skin and tasty white soy demi-glaze; the accompanying butternut squash puree offered a nice earthiness to bring the plate full circle.
The chocolate mousse dessert deserves its own paragraph. First of all, look at it — it’s adorable and the ideal size after such a hearty starter and main. We’re fans of both milk chocolate and dark chocolate, and we enjoyed how the guanaja chocolate toed the line between sweet and bitter. Our exact words to each other after one bite: “Now that’s a good mousse.”
Not in the mood for a extensive mid-day meal? For that one item that will hit the spot, look no further than one of the new brunch selections: king crab egg benedict. Alaskan king crab, toasted sourdough and yuzu hollandaise result in a playful and satisfying take on the brunch classic. At $32, it’s not cheap but the party in your mouth makes the price a bit easier to swallow. Another recommendation: the rock shrimp tiradito with aji amarillo aioli, red onion and cilantro; it’s ample, aromatic and appetizing.
If you’ve been on the fence about visiting Juvia because of the prices, stop by for lunch or brunch to see what the fuss is all about. It’s a tremendous value, and odds are you’ll be back for dinner. We will.