Of all the fashionable Broad Ripple joints Nicole Harlan-Oprisu has a hand in (The Northside Social, Village Cigar), none plays on her feminine sense of style or world travels as much as this spicy “new Latin” spot in SoBro. Along with husband Tim and partners Jamie Browning and Nancy and Bill Ficca—a vaunted clan of restaurateurs and bar-owners—Harlan-Oprisu has concocted a colorful Caribbean cruise of a restaurant that hasn’t stopped buzzing since it opened in early 2013. Under ceilings supported by exposed-wood beams, diners in their funkiest casual wear dig into head chef Ricardo Martinez’s already-legendary dishes, such as deeply savory duck sopes, chorizo-rich queso fundido, and slow-braised short ribs with roasted veggies and a hearty potato mash. A shimmering, mirrored bar reflects the party vibe across the whole effervescent place.

FIRE IT UP: With its now-iconic ice ball dusted with chiles, the Fire ’n’ Ice tops a menu of playful, complex cocktails that includes an especially creamy pisco sour.

BAR FUN: While table turnover is generally expeditious at this no-reservations restaurant, the full menu is available at comfy high seats in the bar.

QUICK BITES: Runway stars in their own right, Delicia’s “aperitivos,” or small plates, include tangy ceviche with sour orange and an excellent guacamole featuring pistachios and brightened with lime.

PREVIOUS MENTION: Best Restaurants 2013

5215 N. College Ave., 317-925-0677,

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This article appeared in the May 2014 issue.