Tuesday June 5, 2007

Best of New Times best of listings

Best way to end up a millionaire in the restaurant business - Karu & Y - 71 NW 14th Street - Miami 33136 - 305-403-7850 - Just do like the owners of Karu & Y: Start with $25 million. Then spend close to that amount, and three years, to open a 25,000-suare-foot indoor/outdoor restaurant (42,000 square feet including special event spaces) in a desolate and dangerous 'downtown arts district' that doesn't yet exist. Give your dining establishment a name no one can understand, feature a cutting-edge cooking style that appeals only to a small cadre of foodie enthusiasts, and charge $18 for a cocktail, $24 for an appetizer, and more then $40 for en entree. If your're lucky, when all is said and done you'll still have a million of your dollars left.

How do I love this? Let me count the ways:

  1. It’s so true: every time I convince myself I need to splurge and try Karu & Y just to see for myself, I hear another horror story about it.
  2. Fucking hilarious: I can’t verify the 25-24=1 math, but even if remotely true it’s one for the record books.
  3. Just plain good: I read most of the best-of issue, and while it’s full of solid, sometime unexpected, choices and good writing, this stands out as particularly insightful. Yet . . .
  4. Manages to insult the entire city: see, we just don’t have enough “foodie enthusiasts” to enjoy this place’s “cutting-edge cooking style.”
  5. Exposes a certain meta-ness of the “best of” issue: you know some of their categories are custom-made for someone they just want to shout-out to. This is the best of all possible examples of that phenomena.
  6. It’s written in a style I can relate to: lots of punctuation, lots of linguistic asides, and lots of numbers.
  7. Exposes discrepancies between the print edition and the online edition: it’s right there on page 137. But online? No está aquí. Numerous discrepancies between the online and print editions have been spotted, but an entire missing category takes the cake.

Bonus reason: I love the way we get a partial line right before the column break where a weird box juts part of the way into the column (between “cooking” and “style”). Whazzup to my crack New Times layout department, slapping it together and getting it out there! Previously on “Let me count the ways:” What’s up with the Art Miami ad? and What’s up with the Sunguide ads? Also, let me point out that the entire text of the above listing is in the scan’s alt-tag, just to make this legit and accessible.

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  1. B    Tue Jun 5, 08:56 AM #  

    One of the girls that I work with is dating one of the owners. She’s always tell us to come by and check it out, I asked if we’ll be comped and VIP’d…. I haven’t gotten an answer just yet.

  2. mae    Tue Jun 5, 09:54 AM #  

    i hate that place! the main thing i’ve heard about it is they do street sweeps before they open up every night to make sure, you know, no overtown residents disturb their ritzy customers. i have no desire to check out most misplaced club in miami.

  3. latinbombshell    Tue Jun 5, 11:14 AM #  

    The whole Karu & Y thing is very Fitzcarraldo … I’m sure the folks at Casa Camillus really are really resenting not being considered foodies …

    Then again, any restaurant with the same initials as a popular brand of sex lube can’t be too bad …

  4. alesh    Tue Jun 5, 11:18 AM #  

    I’m looking at it from another perspective now: it’s totally a bummer. I really wish miami had more avant-garde, expensive, “foodie” restaurants, and I like the fact that they did it in a neighborhood that’s going to be very posh ONE DAY but is decidedly not now. We need more people willing to take these risks, too bad they apparently have sort of botched this one.

  5. dreaming    Tue Jun 5, 11:31 AM #  

    i wouldnt say they’ve ‘botched’ it, exactly. it’s just overpriced for what it is. ive imbibed one of their $18 cocktails. one, that is. at that price, i cant justify another one. though i did play there once with a band at superbowl. it was a morning gig for the nfl cognoscenti. it was cool.

    the location doesnt bother me. most everywhere in miami is dirty. so what else is new? if it had opened in the darkest corner of nyc, everyone would be flocking there.

  6. alesh    Tue Jun 5, 12:11 PM #  

    If it’s really gourmet then the prices are not extravagant at all. I had martinis at the Delano about five years ago. Price for two: $52. And I’m sure they’ve gotten more expensive since then. This is how much it costs to eat at a posh restaurant where a real chef is “inventing” dishes. You can go get shrimp linguine in a lot of places, and if you pay $20 it can be really good, but this is something categorically different.

    One real foodie’s review: mixed.

  7. kingofrance    Tue Jun 5, 12:34 PM #  

    “very Fitzcarraldo” – that is funny.

  8. Alex    Tue Jun 5, 01:01 PM #  

    Your second comment saves you. Why hate on Kary and Y? So it’s expensive and glitzy -they don’t pretend to be otherwise. I’ve been twice and both times it was packed -and neither were weekends. I don’t think they are hurting for business. The $25 million start-up figure was for the whole complex which isn’t even finished and probably hype anyway.

    I wasn’t paying either time, but prices are much in line with other posh places. Try the Setai, Vix and don’t even mention Evolution.

    There’s more money and more foodies in this town than the snarky folks at the NT know.

  9. latinbombshell    Tue Jun 5, 03:23 PM #  

    kingoffrance, oui monsieur je suis content que vous appreciates the irony. Dragging a boat across the Amazon? No problem. Opening an expensive restaurant next to a crackhouse? Brilliant!

    By the way, can someone please introduce me to men who can afford to take me to dinner at Y Should I Kare?

    Egads, last time I checked, a frackin’ martini at the Delano was still under $20. I’m convinced there’s gender-based pricing on the beach. Raise gas prices, not booze!

  10. that guy    Tue Jun 5, 03:52 PM #  

    The best clubs and social places are often in the worst neighborhoods. South Beach had the monopoly on cutting edge clubs and dining before the rampant bleaching of the early 21st century…

    Now, the cutting edge venues for dancing and dining are in places like Downtown Miami, the Design District, and Wynwood. Karu & Y is one of the most exciting concepts to come along in awhile.

  11. Alex    Tue Jun 5, 05:07 PM #  

    LBS (I don’t know what to call you now with your new moniker): that’s what permanent employment with clients that foot the bill does for you. Sell your soul and come over to the dark side!

  12. latinbombshell    Tue Jun 5, 06:46 PM #  

    Alex … the dark side, huh? Doesn’t one have to have one’s hind bleached or something to go to a high falutin’ Miami place? Totally kidding of course … seriously, I consider myself a foodie on a pauper’s budget. And so it is … we should redefine the term foodie for Miami and that’s my mission … good food and good eats starts at the home … cheerios and bon appetit a tout alors!

  13. knowless    Tue Jun 5, 07:58 PM #  

    i drive by that place twice a week on my way to work and wonder why…i mean, why, or more like, how is it that things like this happen?
    it’s out of place, no doubt. is that what motivates rich people to take risks like this one? there is no reason for it to be there…just this morning i saw an overtowner (someone i know) being harrased by some security because she was tying her shoe or something, in front of this place. it’s a bit offensive to those who aren’t into posh/chi-chi places, not to mention to the local residents. it’s like: “hey, i can afford ANYTHING...i can move into your neighborhood and make you feel unwanted, all at once.” these sort of things make me uncomfortable but that’s what miami’s like, right? discordant and confrontational.
    i’ll NEVER go there…so….whatever!
    oh, yeah and what a stupid name!

  14. that guy    Tue Jun 5, 09:51 PM #  

    Often, it takes people like the ones behind this to take a risk in order to revitalize a neighborhood. Prior, this was (still is kinda) a film/photo location, until the two primary partners took a risk and moved into there. Stinks that whomever was harassing your friend, but overall I’ve found my times there quite enjoyable. And, I have probably less money to my name than you.

    Let’s just hope they don’t get kicked out when other people realize that the neighborhood is the “next big thing”...

  15. knowless    Wed Jun 6, 02:14 AM #  

    BULLSHIT! there’s no way you have less money than i do…!
    that guy is full of it. FULL!

  16. nonee moose    Wed Jun 6, 10:00 AM #  

    Any body checked into who owns the surrounding properties? The restaurant may just be a loss leader to something else, long term.

  17. Adam    Wed Jun 6, 10:08 AM #  

    I think the reason that you would move to overtown is: A) located close to the beach, design district and downtown B) still cheap to buy there. C) obviously going to be hyper-gentrified in the next few years.

  18. dreaming    Wed Jun 6, 10:16 AM #  

    i seriously doubt that anyone spent $25m renovating karu & y. i mean, it’s nicely finished inside. but they didnt build this joint from the ground up. it looks more like a couple mill to me, at most.

    if someone wants to spend on one just-ok meal what it really costs to eat for about two-three weeks at supermarket prices, then let em….

    nobody objects to $150 jeans and $300 sunglasses on every yutz in miami, so why not waste some more on good old food?

  19. Alex    Wed Jun 6, 10:30 AM #  

    Hey LBS no bleaching… always natural! Check Chez Rosie for pauper foodie goodness.

    Gentryfication of Overtown, Park West, Wynwood, etc, is inevitable. Urban core. Any of you went to Hell’s Kitchen or Chelsea in Manhattan, early 90s? Try buying an apartment there now. Yeah it sucks for some and it sucks even worse that all the yuppies moving in supposedly have a social conscience but don’t really care if there’s affordable housing being built somewhere.

  20. Chris    Thu Jun 7, 02:32 PM #  

    I think the problem with Karu and Y is the size. It is a LARGE venue/restaurant. I mean LARGE. To fill that with the clientele they expect, every single new lux-condo would have to be occupied. I won’t hold my breath.

  21. Chris    Thu Jun 28, 02:54 PM #  

    Wow I can’t believe no one’s mentioned how bad the food is. It shows that like moths to flame, throw some cool light fixtures in, and some laser light shows and people become dazed and confused. The restaurant is tiny, not large. Furthermore, Every foodie I know said the food was horrible, NOT ADVENTUROUS OR CUTTING EDGE – just badly executed and bad tasting. They should stick to the lounge stuff- as a restaurant, it’s a big let down – that chef should crawl back under the rock he came out of (where’d he come from? who is he?)
    As for the $25 million – it’s nice to see someone realizes there’s NO WAY $25 million went into that place.

  22. Chris    Thu Jun 28, 03:38 PM #  

    By the Way, there’s only one owner of that place – and I really doubt anyone you know is dating him – he allegedly does not date women and he’s not local he’s an older man from New York (Monter).

    The other guy that they promote as the owner (sotomayor) is simply the one in charge of the K&Y project.