Order Up: Cafe Sharaku
Chocolate souffle, one of the star plates at the new Cafe Sharaku.
It's tough for any business to make dramatic shifts midstream. But that's just what happened at Cafe Sharaku, a French-Japanese fusion restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. When it first debuted in 2007, New Times panned chef/owner Iowa Kaita's dishes as complicated and overindulgent. But since then, Kaita's simplified the menu, offering healthier options at far less expensive prix-fixe prices. I've had readers writing in telling me to revisit Sharaku for a while now, and this week, I took their advice. Here's an excerpt from the column:
I have to give Iowa Kaita credit. When customers weren't showing up at Café Sharaku in Fort Lauderdale to try his dishes -- strange concoctions like fluke and scallop soufflé or sea eel risotto -- the chef/owner took a step back. He didn't give up on his idea of fusing French technique with Japanese cooking, a path he embarked on after years of training at both Nobu and Café Boulud. Instead, Kaita regrouped. He ditched his ultraexpensive $70 menu de degustation, with its foie gras and foams, and focused instead on devising healthier dishes that showcased the ingredients of his homeland -- pan-seared scallops with sea urchin sauce; grilled black pork belly with apple ponzu. And wouldn't you know it; the redirection worked.
Check our full review of Cafe Sharaku here.
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