Soyka Restaurant                                           Marguerite                                                            Teriyaki Chicken Salad 

 So whenever I pick up my pen (or tap on my keyboard), I try to be accurate and offer you my honest take. 

Most of the time I give people, places and things the benefit of the doubt.  Why? Because occasionally a chef might be having a rough day or the caterer was stuck in traffic, or the artist forgot to attend their own opening, etc.

I’ve gone to Soyka’s in NE Miami since they opened in 1999.   I was one of the original weekly clients, three decades ago at New Times Café (also owned by Soyka).  Back then they offered foreign newspapers in their newsstands and had the BEST Beefsteak tomatoes anywhere plus their prices weren’t so pricey.  Noise (inside Mark’s restaurants) wasn’t so noisy and clients were appreciated. 

Today, we just wanted a small salad and a glass of wine. It was three-ish and the place was void of clients.  The house ‘special’ salad that I chose was $17.  When it arrived on my table I could tell that it was yesterday’s chicken morsels dipped in a ‘teriyaki’ batter and fried,  which in kitchen language means ‘let’s hide yesterday’s left overs’ and sell them for ‘too much’.  There were some sad triangular pieces of tasteless cheese thrown on top of some salad leaves.  A couple of slices of pineapple (canned?) and some fried noodles were carelessly thrown on the dish to give it height for $17…and that was the special!  Just so disappointing. Oh and the $8:00 glass of wine actually costs $3.00 a bottle at President /Sabor Supermarkets (15 blocks north), and tasted like a $.50 glass of yuck.

I was there a couple of weeks ago and had the same kind of mediocre experience.  I paid, left the usual 20% tip for about 35 seconds of service and thought ‘yeah, never again’.

Honestly Mark and Sasha, really?  You’ve got plenty of customers probably because competition in the area is still sparse.  But come on, your steady clientele who supported you when you made the jump from the beach to the neighborhood want you to get back to basics and try harder. 

I hear you’re also celebrating a milestone. 

Soyka, 5556 NE4th Court. www.soykarestaurant.com