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.
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.
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.
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.
Hovering inside orbs that are half-silver, half-glass, lights dangle from SAIA's high, white ceilings. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame oceanic landscapes, their views of cerulean waves, rainbow-colored mermaid tails, and green palm trees contrasting with the restaurant's all-white walls and tables made of wood so dark that it almost looks black.
Atop these tables lie plates filled with sumptuously bright hues—sushi rolls, wagyu beef, and Mongolian-barbecue lamb lollipops—along with crimson, berry-heaped cocktails. The diverse menu's dishes have varying places of origin and are crafted by Thai chef Subin Chankesorn, who grew up exploring Thailand's markets and who has traveled extensively across Asia and the Caribbean.