The goods: The South Beach outpost of Rosa Mexicano brings DJ-fueled Mexican street food to the ground floor of Lincoln Road’s futuristic 1111 parking tower. Fans of its Mary Brickell Village sister will recognize the fresh-pounded guacamoles prepared tableside, pomegranate margaritas and vibrant dark blue and red décor.
Ambience: A sleek, spacious onyx bar is outfitted with backless bar stools, while rose-colored banquettes enjoy a view of Acapulco diver videos projected onto a waterfall wall. A spacious outdoor patio spilling onto Lincoln Road is perfect for weekend brunch and DIY Bloody Marys made tableside from a drink trolley.
The grub: Modern Mexican cooking. Portions of favorites like pork tacos and tortilla soup made with pasilla chiles are hefty, with most mains including a side of rice and black beans. Starters average $14 while most mains are in the mid-$20s, but the bill can add up with those pricey margaritas ($9-$12).
Tortillas are made in house, as are the salsas like tomatillo, chile verde with cilantro and smoky chipotle. The steak tacos platter comes with creamed corn, chili, steak, salsa, a bowl of rice and beans and fresh corn tortillas. Fish folk shouldn’t miss the pescado pibil, butterflied red snapper marinated in a traditional Yucatan mixture of achiote, orange and garlic and served with habanero-marinated red onions, roasted garlic and tomatillo sauce. The lunch menu includes a tropical take on a Mexican street salad — the ensalada de la calle con atún al pastormade with barbecued tuna loin tossed with mango, pineapple and pumpkin seeds and served over red-leaf lettuce dressed in honey-lime vinaigrette.
For dessert, churros are served with three dipping sauces: chocolate, caramel, and raspberry. The pingüino (hazelnut chocolate cupcakes) are filled with hazelnut mousse, topped with crème fraiche whipped cream and served with an espresso-piloncillo-chocolate sauce.
Verdict: Strong margaritas and heaping taco platters in a clubby South Beach atmosphere.