401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-414-8336, ElVezFtLauderdale.com
Stephen Starr has unveiled a third location of this Mexican restaurant beside its 9-year-old sibling, Steak 954, in the former Whiskey Blue lounge at the renovated W Fort Lauderdale hotel.
“It's naturally a more relaxed environment with the ocean views,” says Starr, who also owns Upland, Makoto and Le Zoo in South Florida. “The circular bar is reminiscent of El Vez Philadelphia, but the space is quite different. The menu is a bit lighter and beach-friendly, and there is a market in the front with grab-and-go options.”
An exclusive here is a greater range of ceviches ($12-$19) with yellowtail snapper aguachile and tostadas de mariscos. Signatures include crispy mahi tacos ($12), Tito Santana Guacamole with mango, red pepper and jicama ($13), seafood enchiladas ($15) and build-your-own tacos for two ($29-$42).
Chili chocolate brownies spice up the El Vez Sundae with Mexican vanilla bean ice cream ($8).
Cocktails include nine margaritas, such as lavender-honey jalapeño ($13).
Three meals a day are served amid brick murals of Frida Kahlo and tropical plants, red-striped semicircular booths and a Mexican beer-can wall. And indoor-outdoor bar features an expansive wraparound terrace with cacti, a lounge, dark-brown trellises and games such as shuffleboard and corn hole.
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