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“I would eat at Ola's daily if I lived in Miami...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ola at the Sanctuary

Ola at the Sanctuary
1745 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
305 695 9125
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Ranked #7 of 871 Restaurants in Miami Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $65
Cuisines: Caribbean, Cuban, South American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Doing business
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 17th
Description: Good for Romance, Special Occasions, Entertaining Clients, Large Groups, Private DiningDinner Options: Reservations, Dessert, Late Night, Out door Dining, Private or Semi Private dining available for large groups
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“I would eat at Ola's daily if I lived in Miami...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

...it was that good!

Because we were in South Beach only one night we ignored our server's helpful advice and over-ordered because there were so many delicious sounding items on the menu. And boy were we glad we did ... it was worth pushing the boat out.

We enjoyed the hamachi ceviche to start then on to the corn empanadas and rock shrimp appetizers followed by braised pork and pork milanesa. It was all outstanding!! One of the most delicious meals in recent memory.

I also need to say a special word about our server. He was excellent at his job. He described each of the dishes in detail (this is a guy who knew the food inside and out), made thoughtful recommendations and kept a keen eye on the tables to make sure everyone was well taken care of. He was like the icing on the cake.

A fantastic night.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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938 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    179
    62
    23
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Birmingham
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Sorry to break the bubble”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

We booked in to Ola after reading the reviews on Tripadvisor. We are on our third visit to Miami, but have been disappointed at the way prices seem to have shot up dramatically, and the culture now seems to be to grab as much money as you can from tourists - eg no prices on cocktail menus, 18% service charges added automatically. We had high hopes for Ola - brilliant reviews, of the tourist beaten track, situated in an un-pretentious motel, an interesting menu. Unfortunately our hopes were let down, and our poor current view of Miami Beach was further re-informed. I'll start with the positives:
- my watermelon mojito was delicious
- the main course of slow cooked pork we both ordered was very tasty (if rather expensive!)
- we sat next to a very nice and interesting Swiss couple who were very nice company (their table was so close they may as well have been on the same table).
The negatives in chronological order were:
- the black pastry on my much lauded lobster empanadas was heavy, tasteless and very hard - I thought that it should have been light and 'feathery' to taste.
- the restaurant became very packed very quickly. This normally feels fine for me as I like a buzz, but it felt frantic, crowded and very noisy. Not what I would normally expect from a good restaurant experience.
- my husband's sparkling water was topped up with still water without him being asked.
- our starter plates were cleared away very quickly, which is good, but then within a minute or two our main courses appeared. I was shocked, as my very heavy starter hadn't even started to go down. I said to the waitress that we had only arrived at the restaurant twenty minutes earlier, and were in danger of finishing within half an hour (politely, by the way), and she then appeared to become surly and said it was our choice, we could have it now or wait as long as we wanted. We opted to wait. When she went away, our Swiss fiends pointed out that there are more dollars to be made with quick turn-rounds. We felt like we were in Macdonalds!
- My glass of wine (the prices for bottles were extortionate) still hadn't arrived, even though I had now asked 3 different waiters. It eventually did arrive about 20 minutes after ordering.
- The bill for 2 cocktails, 1 glass of wine, 2 starters, 2 main courses and 2 coffees was $188, or £130. Not particularly high by extortionate Miami standards, but for that amount in my lovely home city of Birmingham (OK, no ocean but the. Canals are great) would buy you a fantastic all evening dining experience in a fabulous restaurant like Purnells or Simpsons, just no comparison in my view.
- At the end of the evening we went to the loo. We walked through the hotel which another guest commented looked more like a hostel than a hotel (although I thought the hotel looked OK), and when we arrived at the toilets, there was a queue for both the men's and women's as there was only one cubicle for each. Then to add insult to injury when I eventually got into the loo, there was no toilet paper, just an empty cardboard roll, and there was no hand dryer, although to be fair there were still a few paper hand towels left. When we got back to our hotel (The Tides, which is lovely, by the way) I visited the loo there while we had a drink from the bar, and the difference was stark.

That's it, but suffice to say we won't be eating at Ola again anytime soon!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Very recommended!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

Great place if you want to try a mix of what south america has to offer with a special south beach touch! Great drinks & fab food! Highly recommend among the more fine dining places at a reasonable cost.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
“a MUST of miami beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

We ended our trip with a dinner at OLA and let me just say the reviews did not lie. This place was absolutely amazing from the homemade warm rolls to the fire and ice ceviche and lobster empanada. The appetizers were decent portions, enough for three of us to split and enjoy. For entrees I had the pinono, which was a sweet plantain lasanga style dish, filled with zucchini, peppers, tomato, etc. It was PHENOMINAL. Something completely different that I had never experienced. One of us had the duck entree and it was a huge dish. The flavors were delicious and the staff was so accommedating and helpful with explanations and recommendations. Overall this restaurant was delightful and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys and high end, classy and delicious meal.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Goiania, GO
Level Contributor
114 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“one of the best meal of the trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

This is a small restaurant at a hotel at south beach.Food was very good.We had ceviches as appetizers and 3 differents entrees and all were great.Even my wine by the glass was good as dessert that we shared

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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