I’m always lamenting about the lack of delicious restaurants located in our Upper East Side Miami neighborhood. 

We do appreciate Blue Collar, Moshi Moshi, Siam Rice, Doggi’s and House of Thai, however a variety of other eateries have come and gone all too quickly.

While driving eastwards on NE 123rd St., we aimed towards an Indian restaurant called Zaika.  Their brochure reads, “Zaika resembles sense of flavor.  A new style of authentic modern and traditional Indian dishes from all the different spices of flavors of India. Our chefs have brought their exotic Indian dishes to Miami.  Our menu offers a unique approach to traditional, ethnic, vegan and gluten free dishes.  Our chefs are reinventing traditional dishes with a modern spin. Our goal and philosophy is for you to have a unique dining experience.”    Well, they weren’t fibbing about the ‘unique experience’ which we got from our polite yet insistent waiter.

We were seated across from the TV and bar at a table for two. A menu was brought to the both of us with a smaller menu which had five inexpensive “specials” for the day.  We chose the “specials” menu and ordered.  Our waiter kept insisting that we also add a dish from the regular menu.  Finally, we gave in, reminding him that we really didn’t want a full dinner meal.  Just a light dish.  He won the first round. Two filled dishes and rice arrived with two plates of “goat” meat which I’m pretty sure wasn’t goat.  Maybe lamb, however it was so carbonized that ultimately, we couldn’t identify it.   I won’t bore you with the rest except that we ate what we were served.  Something else, while eating we spoke a foreign language which may have had a strong influence on our waiter.  We think he assumed we were tourists, so it would have been a one time visit.

As expected, we couldn’t eat everything that we had reluctantly ordered.  Containers were brought and amply filled.  We were trying to add a 20% tip to our credit card payment, which amounted to $ 68 plus tip.  Instead, the waiter wanted a cash tip.  Since when does the wait staff tell the clients how they want payment?  I just happened to have a $20.  I handed it over to him and he gave me a dirty look!  He won the second round, however we just won the last round because we won’t be ‘round’ there anymore.