Experienced restaurateur Matias Pagano and The KAO Group – the minds behind South America’s Sushi Club concepts, as well as KAO Sushi & Grill in Coral Gables and J&J Fresh Kitchen in Boca Raton – are set to open the first KAO Bar & Grill concept in the heart of Hallandale Beach this April. The two-story restaurant will be the area’s first container project, adding a contemporary and vibrant spin to the neighborhood with colorful hand-painted murals by artist Falopapas and flavorful Argentine grill-inspired cuisine.
Located at 11 NE First Ave., the 5,000-square-foot restaurant will greet guests with an alfresco patio adorned with natural wooden accents, plush lounge chairs, sofas and soft ambient lighting. The patio is anchored by a 14-seat bar, offering a wide selection of beers, wines and craft cocktails. Floor-to-ceiling windows surround the walls of the main dining room.
“We’re thrilled to bring our first container restaurant project to Hallandale and to share our passion for Argentine and American cuisine with the community,” said Co-Founder Matias Pagano in a statement. “There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing people enjoy the food and atmosphere you’ve created, and we’re excited to do that in a community with a strong Argentine population. We’ve worked hard to create a welcoming space that’s perfect for gathering with friends and family, enjoying great food, and making memories. We can’t wait for everyone to experience it for themselves!”
Guests are encouraged to dive into the KAO experience with a selection of shareable tablitas (grilled platters), which include Tablita Parilla ($24), Argentine chorizo, blood sausage, churrasco, grilled peppers and toasted slices of bread with chimichurri; Tablita de Picada ($28), prosciutto, soppressata salami, coppa meat, roasted red peppers and olives with homemade berry jelly, glazed pecans and bread; Tablita de Chorizo ($12), Argentine chorizo with chimichurri and toasted bread; and Tablita de Empanadas ($16), choice of beef, ham and cheese, or spinach (vegan) empanadas with a side of criolla sauce. All of the tablitas are freshly prepared in-house and cooked to desired temperature.
A unique selection of Argentine-style pizzas is also available, including the Special Pizza ($15), with mozzarella, ham, olives, roasted red peppers and oregano; or Prosciutto Pizza ($19), with arugula, mozzarella, creamy burrata and Parmesan cheese topped with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic reduction. Other standout appetizers include Roca Chicken ($14), popcorn chicken and potato wedges with a side of spicy mayo; Tango Sliders ($15), Angus mini burgers with cheddar cheese and homemade aioli on a brioche bun with a side of chimichurri; Provoleta ($13), melted provolone cheese with chimichurri; Barbecue Pork or Chicken Lettuce Tacos ($12), three tacos served with pickled onions, avocado and micro-cilantro on lettuce leaves; and Citrus Walnut Salad ($12), green mix with chopped strawberries, candied walnuts, feta cheese and tangerine with sriracha balsamic dressing.
The star of the show are the fired-up grilled meats ranging from meat, chicken or fish dishes served with a variety of sides and KAO’s signature chimichurri sauce, including Skirt Steak ($33), NY Strip Loin ($35), Rib-Eye ($65), T-Bone ($69), Patagonian Lamb Ribs ($42), Tomahawk ($160), Grilled Branzino ($42) and Grilled Chicken ($17). Side dishes include grilled veggies, green salad, mashed or gourmet potatoes, broccoli and potato wedges.
To further enhance the Argentine American flavors, guests can dive into KAO’s Sandwiches, which include the Lomito Sandwich ($22), grilled beef, lettuce, tomatoes, ham, cheese and fried eggs with homemade aioli served on a French baguette; Pulled Pork Sandwich ($17), served with caramelized onions and house barbecue sauce on ciabatta bread; Choripan ($17), Argentine-style sausage and chimichurri on ciabatta bread; Bacon Cheeseburger ($21), 8-ounce Angus patty topped with cheddar cheese, caramelized red onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles and smoked bacon on a brioche bun with aioli; and Vegan Burger ($16), 8-ounce homemade chickpea and quinoa burger with caramelized red onions, lettuce, pickles and avocado sauce on a brioche bun; as well as their Milanesas ($17-$22), thinly breaded prime veal or chicken filets, served with homemade aioli as a sandwich or “al plato” as a main course with a side of choice.
The main food offerings pair with the handcrafted list of unique drinks and desserts such as Churros ($9), served with ganache or dulce de leche sauce; Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie ($12), served with vanilla ice cream, glazed pecans and strawberries with warm chocolate syrup drizzle; or Tres Leches ($12), a light and airy sponge cake baked in three creamy milks topped with meringue and fresh fruit.
KAO Bar & Grill is located at 11 NE First Ave. in Hallandale Beach. It is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Happy Hour is available Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. The second-level dining room is available for private events, corporate functions, birthday parties and more.