David Grutman, founder of both LIV and Story Miami nightclubs, will be opening his first restaurant in partnership with Jeffrey Chodorow. The Asian-inspired restaurant named Komodo will open in November, and will be managed by Chodorow who closed his popular restaurant China Grill in 2012 and had promised its quick relocation to mainland Miami.
The original plan for Chodorow was to make it into a China Grill, but after working with Grutman’s fresh ideas gave the location a new concept and name resulting in the creation of Komodo. The name was inspired by Southeast Asia and the Komodo Dragon which is found on the island of the same name.
Komodo will have three floors, seat 275 people, an exterior garden and have both indoor and outdoor dining areas. Two of those floors will be for indoor dining while the third floor will be an outdoor lounge featuring five overhanging bird’s nest like pods designed by internationally Renowned Dedon with views of the exterior garden and Brickell Avenue. This gives diners a more private and unique dining experience that will make Komodo stand out. The lounge will be unveiled a few months after the restaurant has opened for lunch and dinner services.
ICrave, a New York-based innovation studio, helped the duo with their vision for the restaurant by creating a lush tropical garden oasis. The garden will have a oolitic stonewall. Interior elements include oversized bamboo, 40-ft. ceilings draped in red and illuminated metals that create a beautiful and intimate dining space.
One of the first things that diners will see when entering the eatery is a room of hanging ducks being cooked by a special wood-fired oven used to make the traditional dish Peking duck. Other dishes will include a 15-vegetable chopped salad and dumplings prepared by chefs from several kitchens that are under the China Grill Management company umbrella like Asia de Cuba in NYC.
Grutman is excited about this new venture as it helps expand his business towards his ultimate goal of making it into a complete lifestyle brand, which may include hotels one day.