Lower Beach-dom welcomes the addition of Mexican food today with the opening of Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, in the space previously occupied by Nemo. It's a branch of the existing Lolitas in Boston and Greenwich, Connecticut, two fairly conservative areas we would not necessarily peg as fans of a "burlesque-inspired Mexican dining experience" (according to the press release). Now, Miami seems like the perfect city for an acid-trippy, red-damask-covered lair of Mexican food, complete with gilded mirrors and black chandeliers. Greenwich, really?
We say the highlight is what they are calling a "tequila cage" (tequila really should be harder to get at) a wooden and wire case with a curated selection of shots to remember (here's hoping) grouped into flavor profiles such as "pale honey and butter" and "chocolate and spice." Pricing for more basic tequilas start at $9 for Sauza's 100 Years and Campo Azul, for example, and go to the extraordinary, such as the $85 Partida Elegante, or Herradura's Selección Suprema, which will set you back $100. There are 120 types on hand, so even the best-versed connoisseur will be challenged to find fault with the offerings.
That tequila washes down a good range of glamorized Mexican food that covers the usual (tacos, quesadillas, carne asada)
as well as the more inventive (seared tuna with sour orange-chili mojo
and white sweet-potato mash, $26, crisp masa oysters, $11.) We herald
the beginning of any meal that includes a guacamole starter of agave
glazed barbecue pork belly,
fresh avocado, cilantro, and tomato ($13) or the "Especial" ($16), which
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comes packed with jumbo crab and lobster doused in chili-garlic butter.
From sticky spare ribs made with Mexican coffee beans and chocolate ($14) to slow-cooked brisket tacos with a "shot of gravy" ($18), this Lolita certainly indulges calorie-packed cravings, but traditional ceviches ($14), grilled salmon in a coconut-line broth ($24), and garlic lime chicken ($19) round out the extensive menu's lighter options.
Lolita is open for dinner daily, beginning tonight, and the bar stays open until 5 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.