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Michael Blum Debuts Holy Smoke's in PBG

After a controversial stint in Hollywood and a less-than-satisfying one in Sunny Isles with a pair of Michael's Kitchens, local top toque Michael Blum has landed in Palm Beach Gardens, where he's heading the kitchen of the new

Holy Smoke's American Bistro & Bar

(2650 PGA Blvd.; 561-624-7427). 

The 4,700-square-foot eatery takes over the space formerly home to Shorty's Bar-B-Q and features a covered outdoor bar and patio and what restaurant consultant Nick King describes as a casual atmosphere with a touch of South Beach flair. 

On Blum's eclectic menu are everything from Baja-style fish tacos to blackened chicken quesadilla to mozzarella soufflé, as well as a burger bar that cranks out 15 different burgers, each inspired by the cuisine of a different city. For example, the Santa Fe, which tops your burger with cheddar cheese, jalapeños and garlic-chipotle mayo.  

And for you types who keep South Beach hours, Holy Smoke's is open until 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Not that Palm Beach Gardens is South Beach, but hey, you can dream, right?

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