Ten Best Restaurants in Hollywood
Hollywood. City planners' dreams of a downtown drag offering wide sidewalks with plenty of shade and restaurants are a reality.
Image courtesy of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
Yet there's something strange afoot. Some nights, you can almost hear a pin drop on the opposite side of Young Circle. Despite a lengthy restaurant row, you never know what you're going to find once you get off I-95. It might be a rager, and you'll pound your first against your car's roof as you circle around and around trying to find parking.
Other nights, prime parking is so widely available that there's reason for suspicion. That restaurant your friend recommended is empty, roiling up a deep sense of concern.
But Hollywood Boulevard's problems are really more a symptom of the car-first mentality that pervades Broward County. Endless strip malls and wide, high-speed roads are more conducive to hit-and-runs than a dining and walking district. It certainly is not for a lack of good eats.
Despite the challenges, the fact that these restaurants continue to survive -- and even thrive -- is a testament to just how good the dining in this area really is. This is true taste of "old Florida."
So here they are, the ten best restaurants in Hollywood.
10. Exotic Bites
Image courtesy of Exotic Bites Salty-sweet lady fingers.
After a long night of drinking on Hollywood Boulevard, you have a choice. Up or down? Do you want to pass out or keep going? Exotic Bites on Harrison Street will serve your fancy either way. Have them fill you a hookah with jasmine-flavored shisha and puff till your eyes get heavy. Conversely take your pick of American, Italian, Cuban, or Turkish coffee and order a few "lady fingers" of crispy Phyllo dough wrapped around sweet-salty crushed pistachios and suddenly you'll find a few more hours of stamina. Don't forget a lamb kebab or a falafel wrap at the start or the end of the night.
9. Laura's Cuban Restaurant
Image courtesy Laura's Cuban Restaurant. Laura's Pan con Bistec.
If you're hankering for a simple pan con bistec and a café con leche, Laura's is the place to go. There's a picture of famed Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti hanging on the wall. Befitting Broward County, refrigerator cases hold dozens of varieties of craft beers to wash down the lechon and moros. A similarly sized collection of hot sauces is also available. While Laura Alfonso runs the kitchen, the restaurant was the dream of her late husband, Ariel Tamargo. Although he passed in mid-August, Laura is keeping the dream alive and says she doesn't plan to quit serving her home-style Cuban classics anytime soon.
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1848 Harrison St., Hollywood, FL