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Naked Tiki, Miami Beach, FL (bar)

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Name:Naked Tiki
Street:1120 Collins Ave
City:Miami Beach



Nothing says tiki like bobbleheads.


On 2016-02-15 13:51, Rob Roy wrote:
Nothing says tiki like bobbleheads.



Based on the article, seems like it should have neither the word 'naked' nor 'tiki' in it. :P

The Atomic Grog has a review of the opening night party ...

Polynesia invades South Beach at Naked Tiki

Ralph Pagano is bringing a taste of Polynesia to South Beach with the opening of his new restaurant and bar, Naked Tiki. During the Feb. 20 grand opening party at the historic Stiles Hotel, the acclaimed chef’s full range of flavors was on display.

Pagano’s decadent and creative dishes were the highlight. Leaving his TV celebrity chef status behind, Pagano has established himself as creative force on the Miami dining scene with his Naked Taco and Naked Lunch concepts. He raises the bar even higher at Naked Tiki, with mouth-watering reinventions of classic Tiki bar food. The Crab Rangoon was a mouth-watering bite of fresh crab in a deep-fried wonton, served with a perfect spicy mustard sauce. The wings were tender and flavorful, the ribs thick and meaty, the poke fresh and full of complex spices.

The Naked Tiki’s Pupu Platter includes chicken wings, BBQ spare ribs, Crab Rangoon, tuna poke, and Steak Negimaki. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

The shrimp “Rumaki” is a good example of Pagano’s creativity, swapping out the chicken with shrimp in this traditional bacon-wrapped small bite. The steamed dumplings, all hand-made in-house, were moist and bursting with flavor. Last but not least, the buns were simply off the hook. Pagano takes this trendy bar bite to a new level with five different takes (pork belly, chicken, brisket, shrimp, duck) that all attack the taste buds with unexpected surprises. Everything we sampled was a rich, savory, sweet and spicy party in your mouth. The food was top-notch, just as you’d expect from the former competitor on Hell’s Kitchen and host of Pressure Cook.

The cocktail menu was more modest but effective. The Mai Tai was traditional and well-constructed, while the Aku Aku was full of fresh citrus and rum flavors. It’s a unique take on the classic from the 1960s restaurant of the same name in Las Vegas, and also the chef’s favorite. Likewise, the Barrel of Monkeys is a homage to the Painkiller containing the traditional pineapple-orange-coconut flavors but with a “barrel aged monkey rum.” The small menu also includes a flaming Scorpion Bowl and several original cocktails.

Polynesian dancers perform at the grand opening of the Naked Tiki restaurant and bar at the Stiles Hotel on South Beach on Feb. 20. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

The ambiance and decor were a little more hit-and-miss by Tiki standards, but you have to remember where you are (the heart of South Beach on Collins Avenue). The Stiles Hotel is a historic property that dates back to 1936, so large-scale renovations are out of the question. The look and feel remains unquestionably Art Deco, so Pagano had to work within those limitations. The layout is also sprawling, starting at the front of the hotel and winding through the lobby and out to the pool. It’s hardly dark and immersive, but the layout allows for a wide variety of experiences, whatever suits your fancy. There’s the large airy patio facing Collins, the large Coconut Room bar off the lobby, the comfy downstairs Bamboo Lounge (named for the Polynesian bar in Goodfellas), the smaller Shark Bar and lounge behind the pool, plus a large lanai area with poolside views.

It’s a tough space to decorate, regardless of the genre, but Tiki is particularly difficult. It definitely could have benefitted from more authentic and/or original carvings and Tikis. Instead, Pagano went for a personal touch with many items from his personal collection. In a nod to Miami, there’s a wall that pays tribute to Scarface. The music also fell a little short, with a DJ spinning lots of club music and not much Tiki or exotica. I guess it’s hard to escape from South Beach. Yet the highlights of the grand opening were the performances by Polynesian performers and musicians, including a fire dancer. The authentic entertainment made the opening grand, serving as the perfect accompaniment to the exotic delicacies on the menu.


My Tiki Central recommendation: If you're in South Beach, definitely go there for the food and try a few drinks. I haven't sampled enough of the cocktails to give a thumbs up or down, but what I had Feb. 20 was decent. The decor is what it is. It's a great location in the heart of South Beach and a lovely Art Deco hotel, if that's your cup of tea. Better drinks down the street at The Rum Line and a more tropical environment further north at The Broken Shaker. But it's good to see SoBe getting a little more eclectic. And did I mention the food was great?

From The Week in Tiki on The Atomic Grog ...


Celebrity chef Ralph Pagano’s ambitious Naked Tiki restaurant and bar in Miami Beach closed suddenly and without notice in early April, just two months after opening to much fanfare in the historic Stiles Hotel on Collins Avenue. While the restaurant remains listed on the hotel’s website, visitors arriving during the Miami Rum Festival in mid-April were greeted by a deserted venue with all the decor packed up in boxes. They were told that a Latin concept is slated to replace the Tiki bar and restaurant, though it’s possible the tropical-themed pool bar may remain.

The restaurant website and Facebook page have not been updated, and Pagano has issued no statement regarding the latest of his “Naked” concepts, which also includes the more successful Naked Taco and Naked Lunch. While Pagano’s food at Naked Tiki was outstanding, the sprawling layout of the hotel and disjointed bar and dining areas may have worked to his detriment. This left many tables to fill in a competitive restaurant scene unaccustomed to retro-themed Polynesian-style cooking. The most successful new Tiki bars and restaurants opening across the country over the past several years have typically been tucked into compact spaces with overhead kept to a minimum. Even in trendy South Beach, this is an economic fact of life that should not be ignored.


Wow! This wasn't even open long enough to get a critiki.com entry!


surely the wreck bar isnt going to remain white and looking like some kind of miami dr office/hotel bar/condo lobby


[ Edited by: nomeus 2016-05-12 12:30 ]


On 2016-05-12 12:29, nomeus wrote:
surely the wreck bar isnt going to remain white and looking like some kind of miami dr office/hotel bar/condo lobby


[ Edited by: nomeus 2016-05-12 12:30 ]

Surely not, as noted in the text that accompanied that picture:

“Stoked to have our additional porthole windows open again to the public,” Marina wrote on Facebook. “Stay tuned as our Wreck Bar lounge area continues to nautically evolve, with wood features added to the walls, and more to complement the main bar.”


too many words, easier to jump to conclusions :)

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