Get Lefty

They may have lost a friend, but a new one's coming

All this busy chatter of utensils and speech is probably meant, along with entertainment, to divert the customer from the fact that nothing is really being done flavor-wise to the seafood, poultry, and meat. Like the rice, the main courses are virtually unflavored, seasoned with basics, sautéed, and then placed on your plate before you notice. One upside is that two soy-based dipping sauces are poured and placed between your plate and the grill, which helps the flavor of the meal but does little positive for the linens. Another factor in favor is that the chefs are knowledgeable about the cooking time required for the various items, ensuring succulence. They will also take into account dietary preferences or restrictions. Thus, kosher folks can enjoy an all-meat, no-shellfish kind of meal; likewise, people who are allergic to shellfish can inform the chef, who will cook scallops, shrimp, and lobster tail as the final dishes, avoiding contamination.

For a bit more flavor, consider ordering beef or chicken teriyaki-style, which comes premarinated and has a stronger presence. Upgrades from steak to filet mignon are available for an extra $2 per diner and can provide a more tender experience.

You can also make a meal out of several appetizer and à la carte menu items, such as the steaming gyoza (dumplings) or the layered leaves of delicate beef tataki. The owners of Japanese Village Steak House also run the original Japanese Village down the street, one of the older restaurants on Las Olas Boulevard. So you can be assured that the sushi chefs here have been as significantly trained as the teppanyaki techs. But don't let me speak for them -- allow the Trudy roll, a delicious combo of tuna, masago, and cucumber in a lightly vinegared sauce, or the caramelized eel, flaky but not bony, to do the talking.

Slice and dice. This guy cooks!
Colby Katz
Slice and dice. This guy cooks!

Location Info

Map

Japanese Village Steak House

350 E. Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Fort Lauderdale

Details

Call 954-525-8386. Lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. till 2 p.m. Dinner daily from 5 to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday till 11 p.m.
350 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

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Ice cream and remarkably grease-free tempura-wrapped bananas are included with complete dinners, bringing the courses up to about five or six and making a pilgrimage to Japanese Village more worthy of a tanka than a haiku. Not a good choice if you're trying to catch a show nearby at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts or make a movie. But sometimes it's nice to linger, especially if the next few hours offer little positive.

Which brings me back to poor Lefty, who quite ignorantly passed his sweet 16 never knowing he wouldn't make it to a slightly more bitter 36. Survived by his twin and roommate, Righty, his long-time partner, Shorty, and his two beautiful kids, Zoe and Remy, for which he was 50 percent responsible (or maybe 25 percent, given the odds and just how long that tumor might have been lingering), he died with the contentment that comes from a job well done. No doubt we will mourn his loss, which is why we had brought with us a cake inscribed with the sentiment: "Dear Lefty. We'll miss you. Rest in peace." I'm still a little baffled as to why the staff believed it was a birthday cake, though. And I don't quite get why they brought it to our table lit with a candle, singing loudly, and clanging utensils all the while. But perhaps they knew something I only suspected at the time (but have since happily confirmed) -- the forthcoming birth of a successful solo artist.

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