In a cluster of vacant spaces and abounding conventionality sits Lokal, a respite for those of us who wish we lived in the kind of city this little joint portrays. Unassuming, unpretentious, and just plain cozy, Lokal is the kind of place where one can enjoy a seriously good burger and a healthy selection of craft beers with only the occasional hipster sighting due to the $2 PBR cooler out by the window. It’s this little haven that saved our evening from Miami’s suffocating moisture and my admittedly poor choice of wardrobe throughout the summer months.
Perhaps it’s my naivete or occasional spurts of optimism that drive me to sign up for “free” events only to arrive and find that I do, indeed, live in Miami, and not Utah, as my husband so articulately likes to remind me – and all that that implies. It was in this sporadic state of idealism that I signed us up for the Rock of Ages premier at the Paragon, to later show up and be reminded that there’s usually a price for “free” and it often consists of sweating in Miami’s unforgiving humidity and standing in line behind what can only be described as the unwashed guy’s oily secretions (it smelled exactly as it sounds).
In the interest of full disclosure, I feel that it’s important to tell you that I suffer from a condition, as yet unnamed, where I often find myself inappropriately garbed and completely unawares until I’ve arrived at my destination that I’ve dressed for an entirely different city. Such was the case last night when I showed up in what I thought to be a completely acceptable casual outfit of dark-washed denim, long-sleeved cotton top, and platform pumps (see below) when what I really should have been wearing was a mu-mu and some flip flops to more comfortably stand in line behind approximately 300 of Miami’s other hopeful movie-goers.
Chalk it up to optimism or sheer delusion. Maybe it’s some underlying M.O. to eventually move to a more seasonal climate. But the fact remains that I was born and raised in Miami and yet still own a wardrobe consisting (without exaggeration) of 60% fall/winter items. We lasted all of twenty minutes before my bangs were plastered to my forehead and my “cute casual outfit” felt more like a winter coat at the beach. Without a chance of getting into the premier before suffering possible dehydration by denim, we cut our losses and decided on dinner.
Walking back, we realized we were stuck in a tourist trap full of franchised fried food so we made for the car and braved rush-hour traffic for about ten minutes when Tony literally turned the car around and said, “Screw this. We’re going to Lokal.” God bless his heart for knowing that a good burger can save any night. It’s probably one of the reasons I married him.
It took only a few minutes and a couple of IPA’s (Deviant Dale IPA, Dogfish Rotating Taps Milton DE, and Lagunitas IPA) to turn the night around. That, a mouthwatering 50/50 burger, some gator strips with an un-posted garlic sauce (thank you, Ms. Bartender), and a genuinely friendly staff. And really, in this city or any, what more could you want?
I know I’m not the first person to cover this place. Far from it. But this post is just a simple thank you from the bottom of my heart – for not falling into the generic food scene this city has seen for too damn long. And for allowing my husband and I a simple night of great food, beer, and conversation. It shouldn’t be such a rare occurrence. But in our transient little city, it tends to be. So here’s to hoping Lokal remains a local favorite, no cliched puns intended. We really look forward to seeing you again soon.
P.S. I love a bar with purse hooks. You’d be surprised how many places overlook this essential little detail. Thanks again, Lokal. From the ladies in Miami with annoyingly large bags that we just can’t seem to get enough of.