If they're lucky, diners at Weston Sushi & Grill might see the restaurant's massive sushi boat, a handsome wooden vessel showcasing a dazzling array of ornate sushi rolls and colorful pieces of sashimi. The masterminds behind this splendid spread of seafood are the restaurant's sushi chefs, who extend their expertise towards dozens of traditional and imaginative rolls. While the sushi bar churns out fresh-fish creations, the kitchen sizzles up Japanese and Chinese specialties ranging from teriyaki ribs and scallops to bubbling pots of udon soup. There are stir-fried Chinese noodles and fiery Szechuan specialties—including spicy chicken and sizzling steak—as well as ice-cream desserts flavored like red bean, vanilla, and green tea.
Beneath the colorful toques on their heads, hibachi chefs flip and sauté meat and vegetables on their tabletop grills, smiling as they conjure the occasional bursts of flame during lively cooking routines. That’s just one scene at SooWoo Japanese Steakhouse—across the restaurant, sushi chefs slice ribbons of fish and vegetables and roll them into California and spicy tuna rolls. Basketball fans can celebrate the city’s 2012 NBA championship with the specialty Miami Heat roll, which includes slices of shrimp tempura, crab, and cream cheese. SooWoo also whips up Korean dishes, such as bulgogi and pork belly.
The chefs at Go!Bento fill traditional Japanese-style bento boxes with entrees and sides from Chinese, Thai, and other Asian cuisines. Bento boxes in sizes from the petite Go! Ninja to the hearty Go! Sumo mingle pad thai, honey-garlic chicken, lo mein noodles, and steamed pot stickers. Go!Bento also riffs on hot dogs with katsu-fried franks, avocado, and spicy mayonnaise. The kitchen team coils specialty sushi rolls such as the BFF, whose circumference of tuna, salmon, and whitefish is measured in friendship bracelets. Branching out from their core competency of savory seafood, the staff also drizzles donuts with condensed milk and green-tea ice cream to round out the menu.
At the family-owned Sushi Room, skilled chefs from Manhattan, Miami, and Japan use fresh seafood and inventive recipes to spice up traditional Japanese dishes. The menu focuses heavily on sushi, with options ranging from standard soft shell crab and tuna rolls to the specialty mixed volcano roll, which mixes a traditional California roll with baked salmon, crab, conch, and octopus. If sushi and sashimi aren't your thing, you can choose from an extensive selection of cold and hot Japanese plates that include vegan-friendly tofu dishes. The flavorful escargot plate is simmered in sake and cabernet in a traditional toban-style ceramic skillet. Lounge in the candlelit dining room and savor sips of sake—the restaurant serves more than 20 varieties of the traditional rice wine.
Asia Bay serves the "best sushi in this town," according to actor Alec Baldwin, who tweeted his recommendation while in Fort Lauderdale to film Rock of Ages, according to pbpulse. The man behind this A-list-worthy cuisine is executive chef and co-owner Peter Hepp, who according to Miami New Times "is hip to the aesthetic of clean lines, vivid colors, and brightly delineated flavors." Hepp's chefs drizzle the menu's more than 60 sushi and sashimi plates with colorful sauces as carefully as painters adorn canvas, yielding dishes that are as nice to look at as they are to eat. The 50-seat dining room operates under a similarly modern theme, with large picture windows, white leather chairs, and curved-back banquettes which Social Miami calls "minimalist-chic."
Outside, a patio held up by stilts lifts diners above the rippling waves of the Tarpon River, helping garner Asia Bay an OpenTable Diners' Choice Award for Best Outdoor Dining. Here the decor invites relaxation with large parasols, old-fashioned street lamps, and seagulls who will give backrubs for fresh-cut sashimi.
A 1,200-gallon aquarium greets diners as soon as they enter Tokyo Blue, an upscale Pan-Asian restaurant located inside the Ocean Manor. Situated on 200 feet of private beach, this elegant eatery features modern flourishes such as glowing glass columns, glossy blue floors, and a full bar illuminated by blue lights. Once the clock strikes 10:30 p.m., a DJ helps transform this chic space into a hopping nightclub, where patrons can refuel with a late-night menu or journey onto a second-story patio ideal for basking in the ocean air and high-fiving the occasional flying fish.
Against this trendy backdrop, Chef Mai—who earned his cooking chops at the popular Miami restaurant Nobu—simmers tenderloin in green curry, drizzles shichimi butter on baked Maine lobster, and pan-sears Chilean sea bass in 25-year aged balsamic and teriyaki sauce. Meanwhile, sushi chef Jo skillfully assembles 30 specialty rolls, including classics such as the California roll as well as eclectic mash-ups such as the Mexican roll with shrimp tempura, avocado, spicy mayo, cream cheese, and sesame seeds.