By Nicole Danna
By Sara Ventiera
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Lieberman says he's not concerned about the more than half-dozen restaurants the new resort will hold either.
"When the weather is nice, no one stays inside a hotel; they walk around the beach; they go to the cafés," he adds. "Hollywood Beach needs Margaritaville, more development, and more action."
In the meantime, we've rounded up the ten best restaurants on Hollywood Beach:
Nick's Bar & Grill
1214 N. Broadwalk, 954-920-2800
When you ask South Floridians for a recommendation on Hollywood Beach, Nick's is the name that always pops up. At 2 p.m., still wet from the ocean, you can stroll up to one of the windows on the stone-built bar and order a frozen strawberry daiquiri, and at 2 a.m., you can go in again for a beer. Order the Ipswich clams with drawn butter. The meaty mollusks are lovingly referred to as "pissers" for the water jet they shoot out as they filter food from the seawater.
290 N. Broadwalk, 954-674-9674
It's Edelweiss on the Atlantic. Organic Brewery's fermenting vats glitter through glass windows, easily drawing in passing tourists. Here they brew a nutty, hoppy India Pale Ale and a filling stout they call Russian Knight, which leaves a lingering taste of coffee. As the craft beer obsession builds and beercentric joints look more like gastropubs than German bierhauses, Organic is a relief. There's a floor-to-ceiling mural of cobblestone roads lined with small white-and-green Bavarian cottages. Grab a seat in one of the chunky wood chairs, order a manhole-sized chicken schnitzel, and grab a growler with some stout to go.
Taco Beach Shack
334 Arizona St., 954-920-6523
There's a lot of beach food on Hollywood Beach, and tacos more than fit the category. Yet the tacos and overstuffed burritos from South Beach real estate tycoon Alan Lieberman's Taco Beach Shack are a cut above the rest. Pull up a stool at the bar and order a short-rib taco topped with a nuclear spicy kimchi slaw. There are also calamari and cilantro tacos as well as quesadillas stuffed with mahi-mahi, pico de gallo, and cilantro cream. Though his place is only a stone's throw from where Margaritaville is rising, co-owner Nathan Lieberman has few concerns. "I think business attracts business, and people attract people," he says. "The more energy, the more action, the better."
321 Johnson St., 954-926-1020
About a year ago, Carolina and Manoucher "Ali" Shaditalab bought Pachamamma to pursue Carolina's dream of owning a restaurant. The design echoes the art of ancient Central America, and the cuisine is a survey of everything that has made Peru a culinary force to be reckoned with. Even on a hot day, their aji de gallina, a traditional Peruvian chicken stew, hits the spot. The combination of a creamy, garlicky taxicab-yellow sauce with pulled chicken and steamed rice is just what you need to help bring on that afternoon nap in the sun.
905 N. Broadwalk, 954-272-2525
From Russia with love. Hollywood Grill serves myriad Eastern European cuisine you can find in the homes of Georgians, Armenians, and others from the former Soviet Union. The stars of the menu are the kebabs — lamb, beef, chicken, sea bass, snapper, and more. If you're looking to get a bit more adventurous, then try the pickled herring or cured beef tongue. Be happy you can take this culinary trip without even having to change your wet bathing suit.
707 N. Broadwalk, 954-921-1263
Hasan Kochan's Istanbul is one of the mainstays on the Broadwalk. In business for more than two decades, Kochan recalls a time when cyclists and skaters weren't allowed to gracefully make their way up and down the oceanside walkway. Like many business owners, Kochan is concerned about the removal of almost a third of the beach's parking. "People are going to come to the beach and turn and turn and turn, and after an hour when they can't find parking, they'll leave," he worries. However, if they've had Kochan's Turkish pizzas — small round flatbreads topped with ground lamb and tomatoes and fragrantly seasoned with coriander, cumin, and parsley — they might be willing to search a bit longer.
Sugar Reef Grill
600 N. Surf Road, 954-922-1119
While dive joints line the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, Sugar Reef offers upscale Caribbean cuisine (like gumbo and Jamaican jerk-rubbed pork loin) in a setting that somehow gives a white-tablecloth-dining feel while holding on to that beachfront ambiance. Paper-covered tables and crayons allow kids to entertain themselves as they wait. Meanwhile, an adult can kick back with a glass of wine and pair it with roasted duck with a sweet and spicy mango salsa or a combination of shrimp, mussels, and calamari with pasta in a creamy tomato pesto sauce.
Sardelli's Italian Steakhouse
331 Van Buren St., 954-921-8331
The Sardelli family — known for Fulvio's 1900, just off Hollywood Boulevard — spent five years and their life savings turning an empty lot just off the beach into an opulent Italian villa. After the massive investment, Fulvio Sardelli said that he sees Margaritaville developer Lon Tabatchnick as a man of his word and that the area needs any and all improvement. Whether it will bring people in the door for a $15 scallop — perfectly cooked and set atop a parsley pesto sauce and creamy parsnip puree — remains to be seen, however.