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.
The chefs at Sri-Thai infuse rice, noodle, and curry dishes with piquant spices and herbs imported from Thailand. Bite-size morsels of meat and seafood find their way into most dishes, including lo mein noodles and panang curry. Most dishes can be made vegetarian by substituting tofu or mushrooms for meat. Patrons can relax beneath a flat-screen TV in the grape-and-cream-hued dining room.
Yakitori Sake House's Japanese lounge conjures a modern glimpse of the East with an artful menu of sushi and char-grilled entrees presented amid diffused neon lighting and dark woods. Classic hints of history, such as three samurai swords glimmering on a stand, catch diners' eyes as they settle in near a variegated brick wall rising from a long ebony-hued bench. At a sushi bar underlit with chartreuse light and illuminated from above by primary-colored glass lamps, chefs transform fresh ingredients into works of art with classic and specialty rolls. A moon roll packs tuna, crab, and jalapeño, whereas the pearl roll wraps soy paper around a core of shrimp tempura and salmon. Meanwhile, grills waft aromas of the restaurant’s signature creations, yakitori, which season and spear vegetables and meat such as quail eggs, pork belly, and alligator on bamboo skewers. Libations from a full bar and a lengthy list of sakes meld with the flavors of the fare, letting customers wash down each bite in a more efficient manner than wrapping their mouths around an open fire hydrant.