Let the Good Times Fly (Photos and Review) | Flying Iguana Taqueria & Tequila Bar

1/28/2014

Flying Iguana is located in Neptune Beach, FL
Relatively new to the scene, Flying Iguana Tacqueria & Tequila Bar has quickly become one of my regular spots to escape with my favorite date. Featuring an upscale yet casual atmosphere, Flying Iguana gives you all the quality you've come to expect from an A-list destination, while offering you the opportunity to enjoy live music and maybe even cut loose on the dance floor.

Executive Chef Joshua Agan sat down with  me to discuss the Peruvian meets Southwest concept, and let me in on his creative process. 

An Artist in His Element

Executive Chef Joshua Agan to Amy's left and Bar Manager Dave Catullo to her right
A modern day renaissance man, Chef Josh has an eclectic background. Trained in studio art, culinary arts, and even time spent as a DJ, you will find yourself experiencing the influences of his life all around you. The food on your plate of course, but did you know he also created the playlist you listen to while enjoying your meal? It is within these harmonious details I find the restaurant stands apart. An artist is always an artist, and in this case Chef Josh creates the ultimate interactive artistic experience, while telling a very important story of his own through taste, sight, smell, and the beat that makes you tap your feet. From Vermont, to California, Colorado, and now Jacksonville Chef Josh's culinary experience spans the nation, and those techniques mastered along the way are evident to those of us placing our order. 
On the Menu:
Roasted Beet Salad
cotija cheese, pickled mango, arugula, fresh mint,
 and crispy garbanzo beans


Fine Dining Taqueria?

The ambiance is rustic, and warm
inviting you to relax and kick back
We all expect good food when we choose a destination, but we may not all expect fine dining quality eats when we enter a casual spot like Flying Iguana. Walk off the beach in your cover up and you are served the same made from scratch meals you would enjoy all dressed up in date night's finest. In this way the Flying Iguana team are meeting a definitive need at the beaches of the first coast. As a beach resident myself, I can say that previously there has been a large gap between places you would consider getting dressed up for and places you could stroll in after an active day typical of our Floridan lifestyle. Here you can acceptably do both, and the quality of the food selection and service don't suffer. 

On the Menu:
Chicken Tortilla Soup
garnished with avocado, cilantro, queso fresco, blue corn tortilla strips
Let's talk about that quality. Like most great chefs, Josh's standard for quality, fresh ingredients includes partnering with local purveyors and cooking according to what's in season. Going the extra mile he has planted his own herb garden on the roof and has obtained peruvian seeds which he has grown by one of their local farming partners. The care that goes into these little details assures he stays true to the Southwest flavor profile by taste, and not just by name. Great vegan and gluten free choices are also purposefully placed on the menu as they seek to meet the needs of all their guests every day while exceeding their expectations.

On the Menu:
Special of the day- Seared Crab Cakes
sweet corn puree, spicy arbor-tamatillo salsa, baby frisee, watermelon radish
On the Menu:
Tacos Tacos Tacos!!
1. Blackened Shrimp, 2. Baja Fish Taco, 3. Five Spice Shortribs
4. Flying Fish Taco, 5. Crispy Pork Belly
Let the Good Times Fly

"Let the Good Times Fly" is their motto, and having fun is on the top of Flying Iguana's priority list. With over one hundred tequilas featured, and live music Thursday through Friday they make it easy to get into the spirit. Feel free to simply be yourself whether you sit in the dining room, patio, bar, or choose to get down on the dance floor.

Looking for a great drink to unwind? Bar Manager Dave Catullo can recommend the perfect pick for you. From a selection of several of his own recipes, Dave will help you find a hand crafted selection perfect for your taste. Try the Pisco Sour for something new and tasty, or a blood orange margarita for a classic with a twist. Whatever you choose you'll feel great knowing there are no powder mixes here. All their simple syrups and sour mixes are made fresh by hand.
On the Menu:
The Flying Iguana House Margarita
On the Menu:
Blood Orange Margarita
One thing is clear about Flying Iguana, whatever they set out to do, they do well. Don't think for a second that they've put all their cards on the table though, I have it on good authority they still have a few surprises up their sleeves. The only constant in life is change and it sounds to me like the crew at this hot Taqueria intend to adapt with those changes as they come and, grow with the trends. The future is bright for this flavorful new addition to Neptune beach and I intend to enjoy watching them grow ever more popular.



On the Menu:
Coconut Milk Flan
fresh berry compote, and quinoa sugar tuille




Try this date night destination for yourself, and remember to tell them Amy sent you.

Until then...

Enjoy the Journey!

xo- Amy West


Amy is drinking the Pisco Sour

You can win a $50 gift certificate to experience Flying Iguana for yourself. Enter to win a $50 gift certificate right here on the A-list. To see more great images from my experience, go to the facebook gallery here

Read about my other First Coast Date Night Destinations...




Watch me dish on all my first coast Date Night Destination finds here. 

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