Six Worst Miami Restaurant Names

Categories: Top List
MicahWizard.jpg
Riki Altman
Micah named her restaurant neMesis. Huh?
A good restaurant name can help bring in business. It can reflect the specific type of cuisine being served (Prime Italian), the restaurant's philosophy (Michael's Genuine Food & Drink), or even remind people where the venue is located (11th St. Diner). In general, the moniker should be easy to remember and easy to spell.

Bad restaurant names do the opposite. They can be meaningless, clumsy, misleading, or just plain silly. Miami does pretty well on this front: There aren't a whole lot of poorly tabbed eateries. But we did find a perplexing sextet of names that could use a re-do. Here they are:

6. Uva 69:The definition of uva -- unless you speak Spanish and then it means "grape" -- is "the region of the ultraviolet spectrum...that causes tanning and contributes to aging of the skin." Wow, just saying that makes me hungry! The number "69" works because the restaurant is located on Biscayne Boulevard and 69th Street -- although the prefacing Uva makes the place sound like an exotic twist on the sexual position. Plus you would never guess from the name that this is a European-style café. BUT WAIT: The restaurants' website has been changed, and now the name reads: Uva's Restaurant (which, to switch back to Spanish, means "Grape's Restaurant"). Still not great.

5. A Fish Called Avalon: This brings up the danger of going with a topical name for your business. When this restaurant first opened in 1989, the 1988  movie A Fish Called Wanda was still fresh in public's mind. So as a play on words about a movie people were talking about, it probably worked quite well. Twenty-three years later, the connection between eatery and movie isn't as strong. On the other hand, they do manage to get both the type of cuisine and the name of the hotel the restaurant is located in within the title, so it's not a totally useless moniker -- just outdated.

4. New Disco Fish Market & Restaurant: Like the above "Avalon" reference, New Disco Fish is stuck with a name that reflects a trend from decades ago. Plus "disco" really doesn't have that great a connotation to begin with, and certainly has nothing to do with food. This West Kendall seafood house used to be called "Disco Fish," but after it moved to SW 40th Street the "New" was added. Might be a new location, but the name makes the place sound really old and out of it.

3. Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Love that the owners appreciate Vladimir Nabokov's masterpiece Lolita, and you could argue that this is so offbeat as to be memorable. But really, it's way long and has nothing whatsoever to do with food, drink, or dining out in general. In other words, it's meaningless. Rule of thumb: If you need to place a comma in the restaurant name, it's probably too lengthy.

2. Norman's 180: This would have been fine if Norman Van Aken still had something to do with the place. But he doesn't, so the name is extremely misleading -- especially to out-of-towners who come here to visit and make the assumption that Norman will be roaming the premises. Which makes this more than a bad name -- it makes it an exploitative one.

1. neMesis Urban Bistro: In Greek mythology, Nemesis is the spirit of divine retribution. The word is defined as "a source of harm or ruin; one that inflicts vengeance; an opponent that cannot be beaten or overcome." Not real appetizing, and sort of hostile -- the absolute opposite of what a restaurant name is supposed to be: welcoming. What does this have to do with dining? What kind of food do you suppose the place serves? And what's with the small "n" at the beginning of the word, and the capitalization of "M" in the middle? A difficult-to-spell, confusing moniker with negative connotations: That's what we mean by a bad restaurant name.

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36 comments
Manu des palmiers
Manu des palmiers

it might make sense to actually go to the owners of each place and ask them precisely about the genesis of their name. That would make for an interesting story. This is just 6th grade level berating on nothing...

Paul
Paul

How do you not include MAITARDI?

madhatt3r1
madhatt3r1

Why is the New times still allowing this moron to write for them?

Guest
Guest

LEE TOO BAD YOU ARE NOT INVITED TO NEMESIS BECAUSE I WENT THERE AND IT WAS AMAZING! THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU WRITE STUPID POSTS! LOL

Steve
Steve

Wow, Micah sounds like a real cunt.  Her food sucked at Grass and I'm sure it sucks at NEmESIS!

duane
duane

Maybe the worst name is debatable, but wow... have you seen neMesis' website.  Definitely in the running for worst in that category.  Makes my eyes hurt.

softshooz
softshooz

No one answered: I'm still curious. Why is the M in neMesis capitalized?  And anyplace that uses the adress in name, Uva 69, norman's 180, etc has to be real careful.  When lease is up and they move down the street the name becomes even weirder.And why did Houston's change name? Hillstone doesn't mean anything more to me than Houston's did.

Goey Zoe
Goey Zoe

I think El Carajo Restaurant by Casola's is a pretty darn weird name lol 

Micah Edelstein
Micah Edelstein

Lee,Wowza! If you describe this piece as "light hearted" then our definitions vastly vary. It would seem I am not flying solo in feeling this was an attack on the name and the place or others would not have also written in my defense. Everyone I know who has read this article had the same reaction (not a pleasant one, and not a chuckle in sight), and that includes several editors and writers who should know a bit about "tone" and "message". That said, if you truly meant this to poke lighthearted fun at what I aptly named my baby, then my apologies for biting back. Robin Hood you are not in hitting the mark. Mind you, you would not find the name odd if you had ever been to the bistro. (Maybe a bit more research before you poke fun at something that might actually make a lot of sense.) Thank you for the well wishes. I built neMesis from the ground up, so coming here is like dining in my home...maybe that is why I am like a lioness mother defending her cub. The quota for impervious skinned chefs met its limit before I was made, and I am painfully the sensitive artist that is effected by everything around me. That is why this will be my last online read, and my last online reply. It seems that the general public is allowed to write libelous or ridiculous things about my bistro, yet I am painted as some nefarious wonder or god forbid "ungracious" for coming to my baby's defense with oodles of informative sarcasm. To those who have mentioned you adore my snappy online comments, come by the bistro and get the live version. I am signing out. So, as the sun sets slowly in the west, we bid you a fine farewell...

umeshu
umeshu

neMesis' chef owner spends a lot of time in blogs and websites defending her name, her food, her $1 politically correct water, her lack of bread (only in Olive Garden does one get bread according to her) and is openly hostile to criticism of any kind.  I hope she spends as much time training her staff and cooking up a storm.  She'll need to. Graciousness is a virtue. Have it if you can.

NeMesisFAN
NeMesisFAN

The word Nemesis originally meant the distributor of fortune, neither good nor bad, simply in due proportion to each according to what was deserved. Go to neMesis for the best "Rather Cool Eclectic World Cuisine" that a desrving soul can recieve in Miami.

Gonzalez
Gonzalez

Altruistika, the Spanish word for 'read' is Leer, not lee.I hadn't heard of the restaurant, neMesis, until i came across the Short Order blog. I don't recall reading any criticism of the restaurant. It simply put the name on the radar for me and those who are addicted to Short Order. Seems like those who wrote in didn't take a moment to actually read the blog. So typical Miami, scratch, kick, and bite, then ask a question or read for yourselves.    Beantown, it's Klein, not Kline.     Ms Edelstein, many restaurants in this city are PR driven and thus smug. But, it's little places like yours that locals in the know turn to for a delightful change of pace. And attitude. I am surprised at your lack of humor and grace. When I read Mr Klein's blog, I was all set to find out more about your place and get there as soon as possible. But, after I scroll down to 'comments' and read what appears to be your retort to a lighthearted humor piece [that intrigued me and had me making Friday's plans with the girls], I got to wonder if the vengefulness in the name of the restaurant along with your seemingly humorless defensiveness affects the atmosphere of your 'unique' place and thus has me second guessing my plans...............     My momma always said that the energy of a cook is infused into the food he/she cooks. If you are already this angry and humorless and your restaurant is so new............well, may I suggest you lighten up a bit and when you ask your friends to write in on your behalf, encourage them to actually read the post or article before they strike an opinion.      Gonzalez    

softshooz
softshooz

I guess I don't get it. Why is the M in neMesis capitalized? I'm not a big fan of the name Smoke'T either. I always call it Smoke T. I would understand Smokin'.   But with the apostrophe before the T, it confuses me.

Micah Edelstein
Micah Edelstein

Lee, I happen to adore the name and and the word nemesis as it suits my bistro perfectly. My humble apologies that you find it difficult to spell. I am neither one of the shiny, happy, pizza pan people of the world, nor do I think I need a cheerleader with pom poms posing as a name for my bistro. If I had called it Micah's Place for Rather Cool Eclectic World Cuisine that would pass muster? Personally, I prefer not have my name plastered on the side of a building. I am a smidge more low key than that. It's neMesis...you either get it, or you don't...the disclaimer is clearly posted on the door, and it is evident from your words that you would have to stop at the threshold. Please don't bother to come here as you are not welcome at my table with an attitude such as this. A hearty thanks to those that rushed to my defense (you understand), and yes, Gabi, that is ONE of the reasons I chose nemesis: whether you speak English, Spanish, French or German...it is just the perfect nemesis...no need for augmentation, aside from accent mark placement (isn't that a novel idea)!

Star
Star

nemesis is the worst restaurant name i've ever heard

Trovera217
Trovera217

I have been to nemesis and the food is spectacular.. Who cares about the name. A true foodie looks at the quality of the meal, service, and ambiance... Nemesis has all three.

Gabi-gal
Gabi-gal

Not only is nemesis not difficult to spell, it is actually spelled the same in over a dozen different languages...that's a welcome you don't have to translate! 

BeanTown
BeanTown

apparently Lee Kline does NOT know what neMesis means.... Micah can call it "Reincarnated Goats Hoof" ad I'd still go there... Brian and Btown get it. this isnt a trendy Miami "hot spot". but neMesis is doing just fine w/o ppl like Lee, infact thats what they want. they want the true foodies and be the nemesis to all those dumb trendy miami restairant.. 

Altruistika
Altruistika

A restaurant should be judge by the food, not by the name. Those are proper names, just like Lee, which in Spanish means read!!

BTown
BTown

neMesis is a fitting name, because all of the other crappy restaurants with lame big name chefs in the area will find a new nemesis in the brilliance of chef Micah Edelstein. 

Brian
Brian

I've eaten at neMesis, the food is ridiculously good. Actually, it was the most interesting food experience and the best flavors I've had in Miami, and I've eaten at a lot of high end places and tried a lot of different styles of creative cooking in the area. Go check it out, even if it's not a catchy enough name to be attractive to your uber-cool-miami-trendy-poser side. The restaurant will do fine even with a name that you think will be a detraction, trust me.

chelseaduran
chelseaduran

They're still new, but I would like to add Who @ 67 Street Bar & Grill to the list. Interested to know how people tell friends where they're going - "I'm at Who," "I'm at Who At," or "Just come to the old Kingdom."

Izzy NY
Izzy NY

Steve,

    "Cunt' is a bit harsh. She definately sounds like she is full of anger. She doesn't seem to be very nice or clever or hospitable. But the word, 'cunt' just doesn't fit into this debate.

Deb
Deb

Cunt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaen.wikipedia.org/w...It has been described as "the most heavily tabooed word of all English words. ... it did not appear in any major dictionary of the English language from 1795 to .... cunt is an abusive term usually considered the most offensive word in ...

Giovanny Gutierrez
Giovanny Gutierrez

Maybe 'cause her name is Micah? Or after her daughter's name Matilda...

SteveBM
SteveBM

I read the article and my reaction was, "Oh, that's just Lee reaching for something to write about and acting like a douche again."

Chef Edelstein - yes, it sucks that people can talk all sorts of crap about any business online and whether their griping is substantiated is always in question.  But, much like sports, it's rare that the instigator gets the penalty.  Those who retaliate almost always end up in the penalty box, no matter if they were just in their defense or not.  That's why it's probably best to just roll with the punches.

Guest
Guest

Umeshu...they even make their own beer!...she has the right to get mad at some idiot writer monkey clown that is making fun of her restaurant where she spends all her days/hours working her ass off to give the Miami community great food. Go and try and make some beer and see if you CAN...

Guest
Guest

YOU GO GIRL!

Lee
Lee

Micah -- Yikes! This is supposed to be a lighthearted post about restaurant names. It's understood that since neMesis is a name you came up with you probably aren't thrilled to have me poke fun, but this has nothing to do with what I think of the restaurant, or the cuisine, or the chef. To tell me that I don't "get it" -- I'm guessing you mean the cuisine -- and to tell me that I'm not welcome at your restaurant is...well, I'll let the readers decided what it is, but the word I'd use is thin-skinned. After reading similarly defensive and unnecessarily sarcastic comments from you on the Yelp board, I can only suggest, for your own sake, that you lighten up a bit. In the meanwhile, while I may think the name of your place is a little odd, I sincerely wish you good luck with your new restaurant. 

Lee
Lee

Who @67 -- yes, that's a good one that I missed. Thanks.

Deb
Deb

(continued)...the English language".  I hardly think this offensive and abusive term is relevant to a talented chef's choice of a name for her restaurant, or her defense of her choice.

Gilsatie
Gilsatie

SteveBM,

     Sounds like you have a personal grudge against Lee. I'd like to meet you in person just to smell what a real douche bag smells like. I've read some of your past comments and cowardly nasty shots at Lee. People like you scare me.         It bothers you that 'people can talk all sorts of crap.......' and yet this is what you do. I'm a fan of Lee's writing and his humour. He is a refreshing voice among all the crass garbage passed for writing. He is a fair and informed writer. But only those who read his column regularly and care about what they receive for their money spent on our local eateries would appreciate Lee for his fair and candid reviews.      You on the other hand, clearly hold a grudge and have for some time. So you jump on the wagon of a hysterical bunch who have the time to spew hatred on a local writer who has a long history of caring for the small busniess owners and , us the consumers.       You are a coward, a crass, mean spirited coward.Gilbert 

umeshu
umeshu

Oh dear...hate to break it to you...but I do make beer and while Miami is always enhanced by a new good restaurant and the opening of one is exciting, Ms.Edelstein is not "working her ass off to give Miami great food she's working her ass off because that is what one does when one wants success at anything. Miami has great food. She spends so much time arguing with people on blogs, that one really has to wonder...is this part of a chef's 'job description?" 

Guest
Guest

LEE please grow up and stop writing stupid posts on restaurants and write some interesting articles on subjects that help the Miami food scene and not deteriorate the image of Culinary ARTISTS.

Izzy NY
Izzy NY

Deb.

 Right on! But to be perfectly fair, I'd say the same to those who failed the 4th grade and don't know how to express themselves without using demeaning language, and used equally 'abusive' terms towards Lee. A healthy debate is awesome fun but using debasing words diminishes the fun and the idea of respecting anothers opinions.   Izzy

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