Despite my South Florida upbringing by Cuban grandparents, ropa vieja (pulled beef in sauce, translated as old clothing) was never a dish for me.
But La Diosa Taqueria’s version called Asere Que Bola ($11) changed my mind. A corn tortilla is topped with ropa vieja, a platanito (sweet plantain) and pork cracklings.
It’s less Mexican, but more Miami. With a name to match the region, it’s slang for “Hey man what’s up!”
It’s one of their most popular tacos, but there are plenty of Mexican staples -- ceviches in sauces (raw marinated white fish, shrimp or scallops), $18 - $19.87, and elotes (grilled corn on the cob with mayo, cheese and chili ashes) $8, on the menu, but sometimes are served with a twist.
They include Birria ($14) (Chili marinated beef and onion tacos with a dipping sauce made of the fat renderings); Chilaquiles (soft tortillas chips in a brothy chili sauce) and Al Pastor tacos ($10) (roasted pork, chile, pineapple, white onion and cilantro).
The former Beverly Hills Café space is now blooming, with a gorgeous pink flower wall, fun neon signs and hot pink, crushed velvet booths.
Vines of fabric flowers hang beneath a grassy ceiling that is aglow at night with twinkly lights.
The entire space brings the outdoors in and seems to elevate everyone’s mood.
A full bar and drinks menu offers plenty of options including margaritas and fresh juice mixers.
Deals include Taco Tuesday ($4 per taco); Ladies Night, Wednesday from 8 p.m. to close, Margaritas are $5.
Happy Hour is Monday - Friday, 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Mariachis play on Thursday nights.
Plates may seem small compared to the platters that Beverly Hills used to serve.
But sharing dishes that often come with multiple tacos, or a dish of fresh chips with gooey four-cheese dip ($12) is more the point here.
The menu has large entrees too: A Mexican bowl ($16) with shrimp can be enjoyed by one for a hearty portion. A chicken, steak or shrimp burrito can be drowned in a zucchini sauce ($16).
Red meat, salmon and branzino dishes are available, as is a vegetarian cauliflower taco.
You can end the meal on a sweet note. Freshly fried churros ($8) come with a big scoop of ice cream covered in chocolate. There is also a warm dark chocolate lava cake with ice cream ($12), passion fruit cheesecake ($12) or a Tres Leches (three milks) cake ($11).
La Diosa Taqueria is in the Cypress Village Shopping Center, 7321 Miami Lakes Drive, 305-381-5095. It is open daily for lunch and dinner.
Follow La Diosa on Instagram @ladiosataqueria.