SFReview

photo credit: Nader Khouri

A spread of dishes at Movida.
7.7

Movida

PersianMexican

South Beach

$$$$Perfect For:Drinks & A Light BiteFeeling HotSee And Be Seen
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Buzzy Movida is trying to create a scene in a city that famously hates one—and they've crafted just the right place to make that scene a reality. This swanky restaurant and lounge in South Beach—no, not in Miami—right by Oracle Park is pumping out showy Persian-Mexican dishes inside a nightclub-like space. With extended hours until 12:30am on Friday and Saturday (which by SF standards is basically almost sunrise), the velvet couch-lined dining room features a DJ booth that’s cranking the volume, and strong drinks like the Como La Flor with pisco and sumac that combine Persian and Mexican flavors with strong spicy and floral kicks.

The interior at Movida.

photo credit: Nader Khouri

The Chilosa drink at Movida.

photo credit: Nader Khouri

The exterior at Movida.

photo credit: Movida

The Tala drink at Movida.

photo credit: Nader Khouri

The interior at Movida.
The Chilosa drink at Movida.
The exterior at Movida.
The Tala drink at Movida.

On the food side of things, each dish coming out of the kitchen is an interesting fusion, with some results better than others. As a whole, the light, shareable plates are much better than the entrees, which are pretty skippable. We recommend starting with fried pomegranate adobo chicken taquitos or the sweet corn ribs with sumac for the best experience. Because the small dishes are the way to go, the move is to stop by on the later side, grab a drink, enjoy a few light bites, and indulge in the fact that you can dress up and not feel dumb. Maybe you can be mentally transported to the real South Beach for a minute, at least until you step outside and immediately get hit with a wall of fog.

Food Rundown

Chips & Dip

This chips and dip dish is representative of the Persian-Mexican blending. You’ll get a choice of two dips from a list of six—we like the walnut and aleppo salsa macha for its nutty flavor and the za’atar guacamole that comes with pomegranate.

Sweet Corn Ribs

Expertly charred corn comes together with sumac, tajin, and cotija. Sprinkle some lime on and dip it in the crema. We just wish we had more.

Pomegranate Adobo Chicken Taquitos

Fried to a nice crisp and covered in slices of avocado, crema, and pickled onions, these savory bites are a great way to start the meal.
The aguachile at Movida.

photo credit: Nader Khouri

Aguachile

There are a lot of ingredients in this aguachile, but somehow it comes out bland.
The birria tostada at Movida.

photo credit: Nader Khouri

Short Rib Birria Tostada

One of the more creative fusion dishes. The tahdig serves as a tostada, but it’s not exactly a stable base. It’s an interesting idea, but the soft birria texture doesn’t work with the tahdig, plus it’s difficult to pick up and actually eat as a tostada (maybe that’s why they give you a fork and a knife).

Arroz Con Leche

Sometimes, fusion dishes unlock new possibilities. This dish does not. It’s too rich for its own good and the rose water flavor is overpowering.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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