Spice Up Your Life  

Are You a Fan of Hot Flavors? Here Are Some of the Best Spots in the Gables


Spice Chicken Curry

Unobtrusively located off Ponce, tiny Namaste is Coral Gables’ only Indian restaurant, featuring an extensive menu with five spice levels: mild, medium, high-medium, spicy, and extremely spicy. We had the Nilgiri Korma Special with lamb in a sauce made with pistachios at high-medium ($17.99) and the chicken bathed in creamy Tikka Masota sauce at the spicy level ($16.99). Surprisingly mild heat, so don’t be afraid to impress your date or client with “extremely spicy.” 221 Navarre Ave. 


This ramen bar has a build-your-own option as well as original favorites, but despite the saucer of chili oil on the table, we were disappointed in the heat level of our Spicy Miso Ramen with pork ($16.50). Adding about 20 spoonfuls of chili oil helped – a bit. Still, sizable portions and delicious toppings like hanjuku eggs and kikurage mushrooms make it a meal. 2330 Salzedo St. www.ichimiramenbar.com

Sports Grill  

Spice Wings

For spicy wings, there’s no better place than Sports Grill. We tried their three spiciest: Dale Style (named for one of their regulars), Buffalo, and Miami Heat. Buffalo and Miami Heat were each $18.99 for 10 wings ($12.99 for boneless); Dale Style adds a dollar. Those are the hottest, while Miami Heat and Buffalo rely more on sharp tangy flavors than overpowering spice. Dale Style might send you home early, but it’s worth the trip. 1559 Sunset Dr. 

Yard House  

Spicy Jambalaya

Surprisingly, Yard House at Merrick Park has spicy food on their American fusion menu, from the Spicy Tuna Stack ($13.99) and Hot & Spicy Edamame ($6.49) to the entrees we chose, the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich ($13.99) and Spicy Jambalaya ($15.99). The jambalaya is loaded with blackened shrimp, andouille sausage, crawfish, chicken, and peppers in a spicy Cajun cream sauce. The Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich drips with sticky sweetness and Nashville spices – maybe not the best option for a first date, but satisfying. 320 San Lorenzo Ave. 

Malakor Thai Isaan  

For those who lean toward spicy sensibilities, there’s no place quite like Malakor Thai Isaan, which delivers its menu in levels of spiciness from one to five – and be warned, these are Thai levels. We had the Thai Fried Rice with beef ($15) and the Panang Curry with chicken ($17), both at level four, and spent our meal with our noses in our napkins. Sniffling aside, the spices didn’t detract from the flavor at all and we’ll definitely be back. 90 Miracle Mile