During the dark, dry days of Prohibition, the only way to get a drink was to visit a nefarious drinking establishment in a basement or behind a storefront.
Although the federal ban on alcohol is decades behind us, the speakeasy concept is alive and well.
Zack Bush, Ben Bush, and Bill Fuller, the trio who revived Calle Ocho's Ball & Chain, opened Los Altos, a sexy Mexican wonderland atop Little Havana's Taquerias
Any speakeasy worth
Past the merchandise, find a 3,000-square-foot venue furnished with plush banquettes, sugar-skull decor, and scantily clad senoritas crowned with roses. Repurposed church doors and shrine-like cubbies filled with Catholic relics blanket the space. It effortlessly transports guests to a sultry fantasy where secrets are kept and drinks are stiff.
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A sleek metal bar provides ample seating for patrons to sip from a mezcal- and tequila-rich menu. “We wish to provide our guests with an authentic Mexican experience and a taste of unique cocktails that are in the spirit of what they would find upon their travels in Mexico,” says co-owner Zack Bush.
The spicy Oaxaca al Pastor made with Los Altos reposado tequila, Ancho Verde, honey, lime, and cilantro is a crowd pleaser ($14). Another noteworthy concoction is the Sayulita, a shaken tonic with Sombra mezcal, mango, carrot, habanero, ginger, and fresh lime ($14). Craft beer from local breweries and wine are also available at reasonable prices.
If you're looking for munchies, the Bush brothers and Fuller have maintained the taco shop's original menu. Bar bites include hearty guacamole and the pastor-filled quesadillas that have been served at the location since 1985.
Los Altos. 521 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305- 456-5905; losaltosmiami.com. Thursday through Saturday 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.