COCONUT GROVE (CBSMiami) – Los Felix, located on Main Highway in Coconut Grove, has been described as an open love letter to the fine and nearly extinct traditions that make up authentic Mexican cuisine.
They use heirloom corn and Milpa farming techniques, which is an ancestral tradition of cultivating land with heart awareness. This includes a Molino, where corn is ground.
"Every dish is really focused on corn or maize, so we're calling ourselves a Molino. We have an in-house Molino in the space where we're grinding the corn and making the masa and everything from scratch," said co-owner Jack Hackler.
Hackler has partnered with acclaimed chef Sebastián Vargas as part of their newly formed Grassfed Hospitality Group for Los Felix and Krus Kitchen, an artisanal food and natural wine market located directly above it.
The name was inspired by Mexican film actress María Félix and pays homage to the legacy she left on the region.
"The name really represents that boldness of women and what they have done to create what Mexican cuisine is today. It really was created by the grandmothers of Mexico and build on that," Hackler said.
The look is fresh, and fun. On the weekend, a DJ spins vinyl.
The artwork reflects the genesis of corn from the Aztec perspective.
For Colombian-born chef Vargas, it's all about connecting crops and community.
"Food is for everybody, and food is your fuel. Food is our life and the way that we eat impacts everything; how we look, how we feel and how we digest everything. So it's important to make good food for everybody," said the chef.
CBS4's Lisa Petrillo and Vargas begin their tasting with chef's delicious crudo. It's fresh grouper with aguachile, pickled jicama, avocado aoli, and pepitos oil.
Next the Tetela. It's stuffed with sweet potatoes mushrooms and cotija cheese.
"This is stepped up cuisine. This is fancy but at the same time, it doesn't taste complicated. It just tastes really delicious and smart," said Petrillo.
They end on Esquites, a traditional Mexican street food made with American corn and Peruvian corn called choclo.
"The corn is cooked in a warm broth with juices, some epazote, mayonnaise, cheese, and chili," explained Vargas.
"First of all, you want to keep drinking up the sauce," said Petrillo. "This is really unique. I've never tasted anything like this. It's really wonderful."
Los Felix is open Tuesday through Sunday. For more info, visit www.losfelixmiami.com.
for more features.