Naked Taco: SoBe Joint Is Crazy Fun

Naked Taco: SoBe Joint Is Crazy Fun
Courtesy of Naked Taco

As soon as you sit down at Naked Taco in South Beach, a bubbly waiter toting a frosty shaker measures out two grapefruit-tequila shots in heavy, preplaced glasses. "You have to be a little mad to have fun with us," he says while shaking out the last drops of the precious nectar.

A duck taco matches crisp chicharrones with fatty shredded meat that inspires you to order another.

Maybe you're mad. But you wouldn't have to be crazy to like the Pink Tuna ($14), a tongue-in-cheek reference to the lower half of the female anatomy. After all, what could be so bad about bright-red cubes of rare tuna, avocado, mango, and a spicy soy ginger glaze?

Ralph Pagano, longtime owner of Alba Seaside Italian in Sunny Isles Beach, opened Naked Taco in the Dream South Beach during this year's South Beach Wine & Food Festival, taking over the space most recently occupied by New York Italian restaurant Serafina.

Location Info

Map

Naked Taco

1111 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant >

Region: South Beach

Details

Naked Taco

305-534-8455
nakedtacomiami.com

Sunday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to midnight.

It's an ode to Pagano's longtime love affair with Mexico and South Beach in all its tacky, oversexed glory. The main logo appears to be a black-and-white portrait of the bottom of a woman's face with lips highlighted candy-apple red. Pressed against them is a long red chili pepper dripping red paint.

A painting of a naked woman with an eerie, skeleton-like Santa Muerte face and a body full of tattoos is sprawled out above the bar inside the restaurant.

All of this would be a joke if the $6 tacos weren't delicious. A duck taco matches crisp chicharrones with fatty shredded meat that inspires you to instantly order another. A fried fish taco offers a satisfying crunch with flaky, light meat and not a hint of extra grease. Lamb barbecue-style is spicier than expected, but a flavorful chili punch is tempered by mint yogurt that mingles perfectly with medium-rare slices of the flavorful meat.

Margaritas are strong, frosty, and well balanced. On Tuesdays, one of the $10 drinks comes with a free taco. For lightweights, this can be dangerous. A free shot, a stiff drink, and only one taco may have you smashed before your Mexican pizza ($12) arrives with black beans sandwiched between two 12-inch tortillas and topped with melted cheese, pico de gallo, and red enchilada sauce.

The only challenge that remains is remembering that your jalapeño-infused margarita is a cocktail, not a dipping sauce. However, if a triangle of that pizza made it into your drink, no one would blame you. After all, you're in Miami, bitch.

 
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