Best Restaurant Expansion Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2007 - Sushi Bon
Once upon a time, there was an itty-bitty sushi bar. At its busiest, it could accommodate maybe 30 people, even with every stool at the bar taken. Regulars who adored the stern and dignified chef swore by the locally caught grouper, triggerfish, pompano, wahoo, and snapper that were magically turned into divine rolls and sashimi platters, sometimes served with true grated wasabi root. They tended not to tell their friends about Sushi Bon, fearing that they'd never get a table once the place got too popular. Local chefs made daily pilgrimages, and so did regular people who loved the real Japanese deal like the amazing beef miso soup or the special tamago the chef sometimes made if he was in a happy and relaxed mood. Then a fantastic thing happened: The ice cream store right next door moved away. And before we could say "Hai!" the itty-bitty sushi bar was completely made over. It acquired a new room full of palm trees and prints of crashing waves, with lots of tables and polished tile floors. There was a whole new staff of waitresses rushing around and three or four new guys helping behind the bar. You no longer had to bring your own pinot in a paper bag because they now sold beer and wine. Everything had changed. But still, there was the same list of specials markered on the white board, with the same very fresh grouper, teriyaki scallop rolls, imported uni, and our favorite spicy wahoo. The hungry chefs, the Lantana fishermen, the picky sushi lovers, and the Japanese families came back and stretched their legs out under the new tables. And they saw that it was good.