The chefs at Asia Bay Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar wrap crab, avocado, and masago inside paper-thin slivers of cucumber to create Naruto maki, just one of many offerings from the eatery's sushi bar. Along with Japanese sushi and sashimi, the menu spans other parts of Asia with red curry lobster, pad thai noodles, and mango and kani salad, which is sure to inspire the level of health necessary to run a marathon in scuba flippers.
Determined to bring authentic Japanese food to South Florida, Chef Koji Ando of Osaka Japan opened Asaka Japanese Restaurant in Aventura in 1994. For 20 years, he’s delighted diners with both his delicious offerings and beautifully-arranged dishes. There are the expected soups, salads, sushi, tempura and sashimi that litter the menu, but a trip to Asaka Japanese Restaurant also means Nabemono Hot Pots, perfect for a party of two or more, where the food, be it beef, crab or fish, is cooked on the table. Sushi rolls range from pedestrian to outlandish, with an O.J. Roll that involves cooked salmon, avocado and spicy spinach; a Chicken Katsu Roll that marries breaded chicken with lettuce and mayo; and the Ogi Roll, which carries tuna, salmon, scallions, avocado and spicy mayo.
Sushi N Thai, which is open daily, brims with staff ready to adorn tables with steaming dishes of crispy, sauce-slathered thai duck ($17) or other classic Thai or Japanese dishes from its extensive dinner menu. The Beauty and the Beast roll ($10) sets tuna and eel, the star-crossed lovers of the marine world, in an ensemble of scallions, avocado, asparagus, and masago. Drunken noodles ($12) sway eaters into the slippery embrace of mixed vegetables, basil, and rice noodles sautéed with egg, and the kake udon ($10) dunks broccoli and black mushrooms in a hot bath of japanese wheat noodles. Thai curries ($13–$17), like traffic lights in heaven, can be summoned in red, green, or yellow varieties at the customer's whim.
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.
Sushi Mentai’s cooks evoke authentic flavors from Japan and Thailand with freshly made entrees, such as teriyaki chicken, Thai-style fried rice, and panang curry. At a visible workstation, meanwhile, sushi chefs slice and dice fresh seafood into 28 different types of sushi and hand rolls before topping them off with spicy mayo, cream cheese, or fresh vegetables. During the afternoon hours, they stuff bento boxes with a four-piece california roll, gyoza, and edamame for lunch on the go.
Sushi Mentai’s authentic Asian touches don’t stop with the food, though. Traditional red paper lanterns hover above wooden booths, illuminating cups of hot green tea or glinting off decorative statues of Buddha.