The ambience at Spice Room is romantic and intimate, thanks to the exposed brick walls, the gauzy draperies that hang from the ceiling, and the soft light that gently falls from globe fixtures overhead. The only thing warmer than the ambiance might be the food, though, thankfully, the spice level of the curries and noodles dishes can be adjusted to match the heat of diners’ passions or left mild to calm nerves during first dates or IRS audits.
Fresh seafood parades on either side of the glass of Galanga Thai Kitchen and Sushi Bar's expansive aquarium. As decorative foliage casts dappled shadows atop the bustling bar, sushi chefs keep one eye on the tank and one eye on their 23 inventive sushi rolls. In the kitchen, the chefs also flip flame-kissed steaks and whip together Thai specialties that include drunk noodles and panang curry. Sips of wine, sake, or imported beer augment each bite, and decadent desserts provide mealtime sendoffs in the form of deep-fried cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and green-tea ice cream steeped by an abominable snowman.
Chef Yozo Natsui's training in his native Japan, combined with more than 15 years of experience behind the stove, helped earn Bluefin Sushi & Thai Grill the distinction of Best Sushi, 2010 in the Sun Sentinel's Best of South Florida series. Inside a sleek dining room, servers transport fresh slices of fatty tuna and hand rolls from the sushi bar, where Yozo and his cadre of chefs carefully assemble edible cylinders lined with fresh seafood and cool vegetables. They accompany their platters of seared-steak teriyaki with soup or salad, and envelop medleys of vegetables in tempura batter before exposing them to a deep fryer—which is hotter and more philosophically profound than a bourgeois fryer. Servers pour an extensive selection of cold, hot, and flavored sake alongside various wines, imported Asian beers, and Thai iced tea.
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.
Inside Fort Lauderdale reviewed Sukhothai and Zagat rated the food and service "very good to excellent." Seventy-nine percent of more than 220 Urbanspooners recommend the restaurant and Yelpers give it an average of four stars.
Siam River Thai & Sushi’s masterful chefs animate years of experience when whipping together authentic Thai eats cataloged on the extensive menu. Blending Chinese and Indian delicacies, a lunch platter of meat and broccoli pad ke mow ($7.95) invites teeth to a flavor fete, and a dinner sampling of the Pirate Boat—brimming with a mixed seafood blend and old-fashioned Thai herbs ($16.95)—tempts even the most placid palates to bellow vociferous encomiums. Sautéed duck with wild basil backstrokes in a pool of chili and hot-pepper waves ($18.95), and colorful Japanese sushi creations, such as the Miami Hurricane roll with crab meat, cooked shrimp, and cream cheese ($7.50), high-five lonely tonsils. Siam River also weighs down plates with curry, noodles, misplaced dumbbells, and rice dishes.