Best South Beach Oasis - 2000
The wet T-shirt contests? Gone. The spring-breakers toppling into the pool with brewskis in their hands? History. In fact the pool has gone the way of South Beach crackhouses and disappeared completely. Resurrecting Fort Lauderdalian bacchanalia never really worked for Miami, where the action is a more sophisticated version of sleazy. So rather than continue the bikini-contest beach life and big-fake-boobs volleyball games that made it infamous, Penrod's has shifted gears. It now caters to South Beach regulars, families, and happy-hour drunks who would rather gather with friends than frequent trendy hotel bars. The sand here comes right up to the back door of the restaurant and is planted with tepees, hammocks, and beach chairs. Grab yourself a pi?a colada from the 'tender at the tiki hut, enjoy a fruit salad at an intimate table for two next to a cabana, and enjoy the peace and quiet. No one will kick you out, demand that you purchase another drink, or ask the make of your watch -- if you're wearing one, that is, since time has a way of slipping away in this hidden sanctuary.