Como Como – a new seafood restaurant and raw bar – has opened at Moxy South Beach in Miami.

Moxy South Beach, which was developed by Lightstone, opened its doors in February and is already home to several F&B concepts from the founders of 1-800-Lucky and Coyo Taco.

Joining the already bustling Serena and Los Buenos dining venues, Como Como, is a seafood restaurant (marisquería) and raw bar concept that channels the flavours of Puerto Escondido, Los Cabos, Acapulco and other seaside destinations.

The restaurant’s interior, overseen by Saladino Design Studios, is a reverential space lined with stone and brick walls displaying Mesoamerican artifacts. Carved wooden doorways and wrought-iron archways lead to the main dining room, where custom furnishings are crafted from leather, carved wood, and embroidered and woven fabrics. The restaurant also features outdoor dining in a verdant courtyard layered with coloured tilework, hanging plants, and stone gardens.

The name Como Como is a play on the Spanish words for “how I eat” – a reference to the high level of interactivity. “When we design a restaurant, we don’t just focus on how it looks,” comments Sean Saladino, Studio and Design Director, Saladino Design Studios. “It’s about how the whole experience ties into the cooking itself. How the food is created becomes part of the show becoming one living, breathing organism for the diners.”

The centrepiece of the dining room is a striking copper-and-wrought-iron ‘fuego’ (fire station), where diners can watch the fish they’ve selected being cooked over a wood-burning grill. Executive Chef Scott Linquist has created dishes that elevate traditional techniques with a theatrical dining experience. Many dishes feature whole grilled fish caught in local waters, such as Pescado a la Talla – snapper that is butterflied, grilled, and painted with two marinades.

Tableside presentations add to the theatrical element of the dining experience, whether that be a traditional Caesar Salad (a dish born in Tijuana, Mexico), or hand-chopped Tartar de Pescado (fish of the day), bursting with spices.

A barra cruda (raw bar) sits on a monolithic, rough-cut stone in the middle of the dining room. Dishes from the barra cruda come with a Mexican twist, such as oysters served with a pineapple-vinegar mignonette or a picadillo made with tomatillos and cucumbers. Como Como also features traditional coastal varieties of ceviches.

At the center of the bar is a ‘tequila tree’ sculpture made of hand-blown glass spheres and copper pipes, symbolising the distillation process that transforms the blue agave plant into tequila and mezcal. Tequila travels through this dramatically lit forest of glass and metal until it is dispensed by bartenders into cocktails.

“At Como Como, we’ve created an unparalleled experience in Miami,” says Alan Drummond, Partner, Coyo Group. “Fresh, local whole fish is prepared directly in front of diners from the fuego, elevating the seafood traditions of Mexico. When you combine that with the immersive design of the restaurant, it provides an environment that truly feels like you are being transported to a different place.”

Other dishes on the dinner menu include: Alambre al Pastor, scallops or pork tenderloin grilled on skewers with pineapple and spring onions, a variation on Mexico City’s beloved al pastor tacos; a rotating selection of traditional Oaxacan-style mole sauces; and meat dishes, including Chuletón (ribeye steak), Filete (filet mignon) and adobo marinated rack of lamb – all of them flame-grilled in the fuego and served with a variety of house-made sauces and condiments.

Vegetable dishes meanwhile, are roasted in the fuego’s Josper charcoal oven and served in cast-iron pans, including Esquites, roasted corn with homemade garlic aioli, morita chile, and cotija cheese; and Charcoal Oven roasted artichokes with roasted jalapeño aioli, buttery herbed breadcrumbs and charred lemon. Many dishes are accompanied by tortillas, ground and pressed in-house and cooked on a comal, the traditional Mexican griddle.

“Following the successful debut of Serena, we’re excited to bring the creative talents of the Coyo team to Moxy South Beach,” says Mitchell Hochberg, President, Lightstone. “The marisquería and lounge reflect what the hotel is all about, combining sophistication with a theatrical flair to create a one-of-a-kind experience for both locals and guests. There is truly nothing like either of these venues in Miami.”

Elsewhere, Mezcalista, a mezcal lounge featuring a collection of 100 mezcals and its derivative, tequila, also opens at the hotel for private events this month, and to the wider public in June.

The space is accessed by a discreet entrance in the back of Como Como. Expert Mezcaliers will be on-hand to engage with guests and explain the different floral and smoky notes.

Saladino Design Studios designed Mezcalista as a catacomb-like space dedicated to the ancient traditions of mezcal, the revered spirit first distilled by the Pre-Hispanics centuries ago. From the foyer, guests proceed past an arched doorway into a seductively lit lounge with banquettes upholstered in leather and velvet. Behind a bar topped with black Nero stone, a terracotta wall displays mezcal bottles illuminated from below. Adjacent to the lounge, a velvet-draped, stone-walled tasting room provides an intimate setting for private parties.

Award-winning mixologist Christian Rubio, whose hospitality experience ranges from Europe and Mexico to Miami, created Mezcalista’s specialty cocktails. Rubio is known for combining Mexican herbs, fruits, and spirits in his cocktails.