Just like fashion, food comes and goes in trends. What was once your risque, '90s, cheek-baring cut-off shorts is now your cultural norm. Just a couple of decades ago, the idea of consuming raw fish was a big no-no for most Americans; only the most adventurous eaters would consider stuffing a big slab of raw tuna down their gullets.
Obviously, that's no longer the case. The Japanese staple can be found all over the place.
But as common as sushi may be these days, not all rolls are created equal. We've all walked into — and then quickly out of — a few foul-smelling fish joints. To help you on your Japanese-style seafood adventures, we snacked and sampled our way through the region to find the freshest in the land.
Here are ten of the best sushi restaurants in Broward County. Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know in the comments section below.
10. Sasaya Japanese Market
1956 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-761-8010, or visit sasayajapanese.com.
Set in the Gateway Shopping Center, this little market offers all sorts of Japanese and other Asian products: teas, candies,
9. Coco Asian Bistro
1841 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-525-3541, or visit cocoasianbistro.com.
Good food is nice even without fancy digs, but things just seem to taste better when served in beautiful surroundings. Set in the always busy Harbor Shops, just a hop, skip, and jump from Port Everglades, this Asian spot offers a wide range of fare, from traditional Thai to fusion to sushi. While it's often not a good sign to have too many influences on a menu, it works here; the fare is flavorful and well-prepared. The raw fish tends to sway toward the Thai side with bold and interesting rolls. Mike's Roll combines tuna, spinach, avocado, asparagus, tempura flakes, cucumber, and kampyo rolled in sweet, black, sticky rice and sweet chili sauce. The Alaskan king crab roll subs the real deal for the imitation meat and mixes it with avocado and cucumber inside a soy paper wrap with
8. Haruko Japanese Fusion
18283 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines. Call 754-703-4847, or visit harukomiami.com.
This Miami import is already making waves with its new location in Pembroke Pines, offering up a unique blend of Nikkei cuisine — a fusion of Japanese, Peruvian, and Korean cooking techniques — adapted to use South Florida ingredients. Aside from the usual tiraditos, ceviche, and
7. Beg for More
2831 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-900-3082, or visit begformorefl.com.
Most South Florida Asian restaurants offer the same thing: sushi and some standard Thai dishes. The owners of Beg for More want to change that. Instead, their menu is an amalgamation of American, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese-tinged fare. There's still sushi, of course, and it's good, despite some off-color titles like "Taste Like My Ex-Girlfriend" that will evoke a double take (at the very least) — it's actually a reference to the roll's spicy ingredients, a combination of Thai and Japanese chili peppers may burn you. Then there's the "Fat Ass," a rice-less yet deep-fried roll with tempura salmon and lava cheese topped with crispy bacon. Of course, the most popular specialty roll is also the bar's signature sushi item: the Beg for More, a curious assortment of pear, asparagus, and avocado topped with crispy fried rock shrimp, chopped tuna, and truffle oil.
6. Kevin's Sushi & Thai
706 S. Federal Hwy., Deerfield Beach. Call 954-418-3939.
Looking for supersized sushi rolls for a good price? Look no further than Kevin's Sushi & Thai in Deerfield Beach. Here, you’ll dine in solace, with the chef’s full attention. If you desire the hum of a well-packed dinner crowd, go at night. Chef-owner Kevin
5. Phat Boy Sushi
4391 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-533-4218.
This one-month-old restaurant is home to a pretty darn good sushi burrito, available as a lunch special daily, which makes it a top spot in our books any day. The well-composed menu by chef-owner Thuan Lam also encourages patrons to explore a variety of creative starters, soup, salad, and sushi. It opens with innovative appetizers like salty dried
4. Sushi One Take-Out
23 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-761-9009, or visit sushi-one.com.
While we're fans of ambiance, it isn't everything. This place serves as evidence. With a no-frills atmosphere, it's still one of Fort Lauderdale's most popular sushi joints. For more than a decade, the spot has garnered a following for its fresh fish, low price points and convenient downtown Fort Lauderdale locale (it's on the corner of Broward and Federal Highway). No wonder it's won several awards and accolades. Menu items include a wide range of cooked Japanese fare (udon noodles and beef teriyaki) to the much-loved raw seafood options. Although you can never go wrong with sushi for less than ten bucks, we suggest sticking with us. The New Times roll is a favorite: tuna, scallions, and tempura flakes topped with tuna, spicy mayo, and more scallions. It's piquant and refreshing — just like us.
3. Gaysha New World Sushi
2223 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors. Call 954-530-0153, or visit gayshasushi.com.
Takeshi Kamioka knows a little something about Japanese cuisine; his father was a sushi chef brought over from Japan to work at Benihana in the '70s who eventually opened his own shops, Japanese Steakhouse Village and Tokyo Sushi. After a childhood spent in the biz, Kamioka went on to spend time at Nobu in Miami. If that's not a legit background, we don't know what is. At his Wilton Manors eatery, he churns out a wide selection of nigiri, ranging from shrimp and local snapper to bluefin tuna; creative sushi specials like the Tonkotsu pork belly take (pictured here) topped with ramen choice
2. Marumi Sushi
8271 W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation. Call 954-318-4455, or visit marumisushi.net.
It's safe to say most chefs know a thing or two about food. So the fact that Marumi gets packed nightly with cooks who've just finished their shifts at other Asian restaurants speaks volumes. Broward's late-night Japanese izakaya (a place for beer and small plates) is run by two veterans of South Florida's sushi scene, Teruhiko
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1. Sushi Rock Cafe
1515 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-462-5541.
The key to great sushi is that it has to be fresh: You don't want to go to a place where the fish sits languishing in the fridge. Here, that's never the problem. The tiny Las Olas space is always packed, frequently racking up 45-minute waits. It's so popular that it once let actor Alec Baldwin leave rather than skip ahead of the hordes looking to get in on some sushi. Sucks for him; he lost out on the chance to sample a menu full of creative and interestingly named rolls. Items range from health-conscious to plain-out crazy, like the Slim Shady cucumber wrap (full of assorted vegetables served with ginger dressing) or the Strawberry Fields Forever roll (made with barbecued sweet eel, avocado, green apple, eel sauce, and roe, topped with fresh, ripe strawberries). It's worth braving the wait, but you can now skip the line with its second location just a ten-minute drive away.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.