What makes a VIP room very important is not what kind of champagne is served, or how much room one has to boogie in, or even how much privacy is afforded the club druggies. No, what really matters is how long a wait people will put up with to get in. The hep cats at Mynt have made an art out of handling the door in this rude manner, creating an entire club that feels like one big VIP room. That first velvet rope -- illegally placed on public property or not -- is a bitch to get past, but inside celebs are a dime a dozen and everyone else, um, well, got past the door monkeys out front. Money, fame, and charm are the minimum requirements to get in. Patrons will quickly learn that beauty is the ultimate currency to grease the palms of the guardians of the entrance. That's the way it goes when an entire club is a VIP room. Unless you go someplace else.

Eclectic. That's the adjective to describe the type of people who frequent Starlite Diner, and to describe the perfect crowd for this fad that will not die. There's "Roxy," age fifteen. Hidden inside the Kendall Village Plaza, under the mask of night, she and some of her fellow Narcotics Anonymous group members are huddled, pounding cheap drinks and perusing the long list of songs. On the stage, four gay frat boys eat it up as the large audience goes crazy over their performance. (Suggested name for this group should it seek stardom: The Four Gay Frat Boys.) In the bathroom -- beyond the Fifties-style décor that reminds one of a more innocent time -- a waiter from the restaurant across the way is being arrested (bench warrant). He was holed up in a stall with two girls snorting coke. An angry boyfriend of one of the girls has called the cops, and in a few moments they're taking Powder Nose away in cuffs -- just as Karaoke Ben, the emcee, is calling for the jailbird to perform a rendition of Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby." Now that's karaoke.

Eclectic. That's the adjective to describe the type of people who frequent Starlite Diner, and to describe the perfect crowd for this fad that will not die. There's "Roxy," age fifteen. Hidden inside the Kendall Village Plaza, under the mask of night, she and some of her fellow Narcotics Anonymous group members are huddled, pounding cheap drinks and perusing the long list of songs. On the stage, four gay frat boys eat it up as the large audience goes crazy over their performance. (Suggested name for this group should it seek stardom: The Four Gay Frat Boys.) In the bathroom -- beyond the Fifties-style décor that reminds one of a more innocent time -- a waiter from the restaurant across the way is being arrested (bench warrant). He was holed up in a stall with two girls snorting coke. An angry boyfriend of one of the girls has called the cops, and in a few moments they're taking Powder Nose away in cuffs -- just as Karaoke Ben, the emcee, is calling for the jailbird to perform a rendition of Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby." Now that's karaoke.

Brooklyn transplant DJ LS One has spun for numerous rap stars over the past decade, including Onyx and DMX. These days, however, he merely takes the good people who pack the Bermuda Bar every Friday night on an adventure, cutting up the wax with a dexterity that leaves them breathless, even as they try to match his paces on the dance floor. If hearing him live on the ones and twos isn't enough for you, check him out on the Beat (WMIB-FM 103.5) every weekday from 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Brooklyn transplant DJ LS One has spun for numerous rap stars over the past decade, including Onyx and DMX. These days, however, he merely takes the good people who pack the Bermuda Bar every Friday night on an adventure, cutting up the wax with a dexterity that leaves them breathless, even as they try to match his paces on the dance floor. If hearing him live on the ones and twos isn't enough for you, check him out on the Beat (WMIB-FM 103.5) every weekday from 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Perhaps it's a byproduct of the demographic trend of Haitians moving north of Miami-Dade, but there is a dearth of spaces dedicated to Haitian music in this county. Finding live compas in this town has become as difficult as finding reggae. Heading north is the right idea, though. Marabou, just over the county line, is picking up the slack quite well, thank you. Restaurant by day, at about 10:00 several nights per week it becomes a venue for live music. Notable Haitian performer Sweet Micky plays each Thursday, and Top Vice takes the stage every Friday. Others, like Konpa Kreyol, have jammed on the club's stage as well. Recently, when armed violence was shaking the island nation, Marabou was a haven for musicians who couldn't (or didn't want to) return home for Carnaval. And this place also serves excellent lambi (conch) and griot (pork stew). Weekend nights have been a mix of DJs spinning a mix of Caribbean sounds. The club usually stays open until 4:00 a.m.

Perhaps it's a byproduct of the demographic trend of Haitians moving north of Miami-Dade, but there is a dearth of spaces dedicated to Haitian music in this county. Finding live compas in this town has become as difficult as finding reggae. Heading north is the right idea, though. Marabou, just over the county line, is picking up the slack quite well, thank you. Restaurant by day, at about 10:00 several nights per week it becomes a venue for live music. Notable Haitian performer Sweet Micky plays each Thursday, and Top Vice takes the stage every Friday. Others, like Konpa Kreyol, have jammed on the club's stage as well. Recently, when armed violence was shaking the island nation, Marabou was a haven for musicians who couldn't (or didn't want to) return home for Carnaval. And this place also serves excellent lambi (conch) and griot (pork stew). Weekend nights have been a mix of DJs spinning a mix of Caribbean sounds. The club usually stays open until 4:00 a.m.

Redland Tavern
More country than rock, Redlands Tavern sports a totally relaxed atmosphere and abundant "Bikers Welcome" signage. Dread not ye Toyota drivers, the earthy elbow benders here are of the cowboy hats and "howdy ma'am" school rather than the tattoo-painted, swastika-emblazoned, leather-jacket gang. Nonetheless you'll see motorcycles parked next to the hitching post labeled "horse parking." (On the subject of tradition: The South Dade area is officially known as the Redland, but anyone who grew up in Miami, or even lived here a decade or two, calls it the Redlands.) Inside you'll find the mandatory pool tables, decent bar food, and a rare emphasis on the "South" in "South Florida." If you're looking for some brawlin', look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a place that welcomes everybody, whether they run a chopper or ride a horse, or even drive a sedan, Redlands Tavern will provide you a mess of drinking buddies.

More country than rock, Redlands Tavern sports a totally relaxed atmosphere and abundant "Bikers Welcome" signage. Dread not ye Toyota drivers, the earthy elbow benders here are of the cowboy hats and "howdy ma'am" school rather than the tattoo-painted, swastika-emblazoned, leather-jacket gang. Nonetheless you'll see motorcycles parked next to the hitching post labeled "horse parking." (On the subject of tradition: The South Dade area is officially known as the Redland, but anyone who grew up in Miami, or even lived here a decade or two, calls it the Redlands.) Inside you'll find the mandatory pool tables, decent bar food, and a rare emphasis on the "South" in "South Florida." If you're looking for some brawlin', look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a place that welcomes everybody, whether they run a chopper or ride a horse, or even drive a sedan, Redlands Tavern will provide you a mess of drinking buddies.

Only God knows how this little shithole manages to stay in business. It is truly beyond human cognition. The entrance is an unmarked door hidden between a liquor store and a pawnshop. Misty Blue -- if that is its real name -- has been the target of drug busts and late-night debauchery for years. It's dirty in more ways than one. And if you're drinking here, you most likely have succumbed to the trials and denials that beat down the average person just trying to live a decent life. Down and out, maybe for the count, you might find some poor, sauced-out drunkard standing outside panhandling for money to cop dope. Or are you looking in a mirror? The cops -- hmmm, maybe that's why it's so hard to find the phone number for this dive. Be on the lookout for the countless number of panties that drape over the fat, slovenly bartender even as you glance around for potentially dangerous barflies. As for the panties, be warned of a Blue tradition: Every woman must give up her panties the first time she orders something from the bar. Yeah, hot babes are lined up four deep. Panties uncovered as a cover: Now that's classy.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®