“Mama Joon,” a new eatery located at the base of the Life House Hotel (2216 Park Avenue, Miami Beach), offers some “vegetarian friendly” items — including “Butternut Squash” (“B-“ (Monday), “Beet Salad” (“B” (Tuesday), and “Halloumi” (“C+” (Wednesday)).
Tired of all that “rabbit food,” my guests wanted to try the “Za’atar Spiced Chicken — chili roasted carrots, house made spiced yogurt ($24).”
Now za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend — which typically includes sumac, thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, pepper and salt (among other spices) — that’s used as a rub for meats and vegetables. Described as “tannic” and “tart,” the mix is supposed to help chicken come out tender and juicy.
While we appreciated the earthy, smoky flavors and aroma, we thought the protein was a bit too chunky-thick and drier than we would have preferred. Most also expressed displeasure with the $24 ask, particularly for such a small serving of white meat. And all that kvetching landed this dish a “C.”
So, while the chicken was our least favorite dish we had sampled, we can still suggest you give the place a try, particularly if it’s a beautiful day and you can sit outside on the patio — which abuts the Collins Canal. (It’s a different Miami Beach perspective, that’s for sure.)
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