I am not a big fan of lower South Beach. The area is extremely touristy, the restaurants are mostly of poor quality, the music is blaring and the service is lacking. But I decided to make an exception and try the Naked Taco at 1111 Collins Ave. This is a Mexican restaurant in case you couldn’t guess from the name. This is the third incarnation in the last few years at this spot, and it may not be the last.

The Miami Herald gave it 2.5 stars which is a pretty decent rating, so I was intrigued to try it.

You can dine outside or inside. We chose the latter. The restaurant, in the lobby of the hotel, is decorated with red leatherette banquets and tables, skull lamps, you get the picture. They play a good music set, but the music is blaring. As soon as you sit you get a free tequila shot. Ours was tequila and pineapple juice and was very good. The menu is split into tacos, enchiladas, burritos and so on. We stuck with the recommended dishes on the menu.

Our server Kelly spoke so quickly in her explanations we could tell she wanted to get this over with. It wasn’t like the place was busy, she was just disinterested.

The guacamole was weak. It needed to be a little more chunky, and have a little more zip and cilantro. The accompanying limes were bone dry, but that would have added some taste. The one redeeming factor is you can top it with crab, shrimp or lobster, and this gave it some nice texture.

The naked shrimp taco was actually quite good.  The shrimp was breaded and deep fried and it came wrapped in a lettuce wedge. The duck taco was way too salty to finish. However, we did enjoy the cauliflower taco. It is something I would never have ordered but it was a recommend dish on the menu. It had some crunchy bits, and some sweetness to it that made it very interesting.

I think the strong point here are the margaritas and tequilas. The bar seemed to be innovative in that department.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Not overly impressed.

Happy dining,
Shanea

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