To happen across it today, you’d think this is just another fancy Lincoln Road Latin restaurant-cum-nightspot. It’s got that whole Deco-meets-sleek-white-chic thing going on; floor-to-ceiling windows; live música cubana every Thursday and Saturday evening, plus a Friday salsa night upstairs from 11pm to 3am. But YUCA (Spanish for cassava root as well as an English acronym for “Young Urban Cuban-American”) is also a key part of local history—it pioneered both Nuevo Latino cuisine and the rebirth of Lincoln Road, opening here back in 1989, when I can tell you from personal experience this now buzzing street was dead, dead, dead. The place has had its ups and downs over the years, but has hung on and today is a strong performer again under Chef Francisco Javier Rodríguez, with the tasty likes of goat-cheese croquettes, guava barbecue ribs, and plantain-coated mahi-mahi. A dandy spot for a mojito, too!
501 Lincoln Rd (at Drexel Ave.), Miami, FL
Our Rating Neighborhood South Beach Hours Daily noon–11:30pm. Reservations advised for weekend dinner. Phone 305/532-9822 Prices Tapas/small dishes $6–$12, main courses $24–$48 Cuisine Type Nouvel Cuban Web site YUCA
Map501 Lincoln Rd Miami
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