Monday January 29, 2007

Luna Cafe

Luna Cafe

In the discussion about Sokya I said something about how it was the only restaurant of its kind in the neighborhood. Actually, just a few blocks south there’s Luna Cafe (not to be confused with Luna Star Cafe). Located in the bottom floor of a nondescript office building (and currently behind a serious construction barrier), Luna Cafe is in some ways the exact opposite of Soyka — less stylish, but with excellent service and spectacular food.

I think valet is the only parking offered; in any case it’s free so we gave it a shot. From that point on everything was easy. We were welcomed, sat down, and presented menus. Everything about Luna is a little old-fashioned, by the way; it’s got a sort of old-Miami vibe. It’s got style, but it’s not stylish.

The menu’s got a big seafood section, lots of pasta dishes, and a few risottos. The shrimp risotto was delicious, and so was the tuna (you’d think that blackened on the outside and rare on the inside would be difficult to do, but it came out perfect). We even tried the little chocolate soufflé, which came with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Amazing. Most of the dishes cost between $15 and $20.

And yes, the service was great. Whenever we needed anything our waiter seemed like magic to appear, water glasses got refilled promptly (no wine tonight, though it would have gone wonderfully with the meal), and we were even warned that the soufflé would take a little longer then the other desserts.

They’re a little difficult to find with the never-ending Biscayne Blvd. construction, but it’s worth the effort. (Hint: it’s just a little south of the Publix.) Next time you’re in the neighborhood, well, you know what to do.

Luna Cafe
4770 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33137

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  1. mkh    Mon Jan 29, 10:02 AM #  

    I’ve been there a couple of times, and it is always great. It’s also the kind of place where after a few visits they will greet you like family.

  2. alesh    Mon Jan 29, 10:57 AM #  

    Glad to hear that. That was sort of the treatment we got, and I was wondering if it wasn’t because we were sort of dressy.

  3. Alex    Mon Jan 29, 11:16 AM #  

    Been there twice, and yes, it’s great to have an alternative close to Soyka -but don’t be lazy: Michy’s, North 110 and Sheba are a few blocks north and south.

    BTW, I cracked the Soyka service code: eat at the bar. Much faster, no wait, and you get your drinks right away.

    The only thing I don’t lie is that they don’t push the envelope with the dishes. Sometimes the usual is good, but some other times you’ll like to see more inventiveness. But it’s just not that kind of restaurant.

  4. mkh    Mon Jan 29, 01:45 PM #  

    I’ve been to Soyka dozens of times, and have only sat at a table maybe three times. The bar is definitely the place to go, particular the corner under the TV set.

    I haven’t been to Michy’s yet, but North 110 is good (but pricey, to me), and Sheba is amazing!

  5. amisha    Tue Jan 30, 05:22 PM #  

    of course the service is excellent and they greet you like family from the valet guys, i loved it

  6. Biscayne Bystander    Tue Jan 30, 08:24 PM #  

    Good pick Alesh! Luna has incredible service & quality Italian food. I’m enjoying the area construction while it lasts; once Biscayne is cleared up this place will be packed.

    Michy’s is literally down the corner yet I still haven’t stepped foot inside. Something about the hype of a 3 week wait for a reservation, doesn’t seem very appetizing.

    MKH what did you like about Sheba? If they replaced the traditional Ethiopian soggy wet bread with some Indian Naan (what you’ve never heard of AfroAsian?), I think the food would be more palatable.

    A great neighborhood hole in the wall is the Magnum Bar & Lounge. The moment I walked in I thought I about the movie Swingers. I was 10 steps away from the bar before I realized it’s a gay bar, which probably explains why the funky bordello styled decor worked so well. The food & service was incredible and the person playing the piano really added to the mood. As we were waiting for the bill the owner/manager (?) just sat down at our table, struck a conversation with my girlfriend and started to serve us complimentary glasses of Port wine while giving an amusing, yet informative history on the origin of the wine. It’s on the JFK Causeway across from the Caviar place. Highly recommended.

    But if you haven’t eaten at Bali Cafe on NE 2nd Ave in Downtown Miami (Underneath Loft2), you haven’t had good food. Traditional Indonesian, dinner for two was $45, and it was more food than we could eat.

    Please dine in moderation, I hate packed restaurants.

  7. alesh    Tue Jan 30, 09:13 PM #  

    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!! I wanna try Sheba badly, but nobody will go with me. I get concerns about the bread aspect, and I’ve also heard “my Ethiopian friend says Sheba is wack.” One day!!

  8. Alex    Tue Jan 30, 10:25 PM #  

    Really? because I have it on good authority that Sheba is the real deal. Maybe it’s a case of asserting expertise, the same way we Cubans get “oh, Versailles is not real cuban food”.

    Injera is what it is. It comes with the territory, just like the spiciness or the fact that all the bean sides are mashed. I’d rather have tacos with pita bread as well.

  9. mkh    Tue Jan 30, 10:41 PM #  

    BB, I enjoyed the flavors, and the fact that it was something new for me. Eating using the bread was a novelty that wore thin after a while, I admit, but the rest of the food has been a delight every time.

    (Alesh, drop me a line, and I’ll gladly meet you at Sheba. Then we can go for drinks at the Legion Hall bar.)

    Magnum is great, too. We had a similar experience to yours, with the manager bringing around a tray of ports for the table. Unfortunately, it was a bit noisy for me.

    Since I work downtown, I’ll have to try Bali some time.

  10. Biscayne Bystander    Wed Jan 31, 12:30 AM #  

    Versailles is as good as your writing Alex. I steer clear of that mess as often as I stay away from that damned Palmetto.

  11. Alex    Wed Jan 31, 07:51 AM #  

    Ouch, still sore about the whole “New Times is the same paper because is the same company” screwup? Poor baby. I know you want to pick a fight with me but you’ll have to earn it. Keep working at it.

  12. Bennett    Thu Feb 1, 12:30 AM #  


    I love the Luna Star cafe. I realize that’s not relevant. But I had to give a shout out to the guys who are so earnest their bringing the old back to school. My favorite is open Mic night.

    Just had to get that off my chest