Openings and Closings

First Bite: Dapur in Fort Lauderdale

 Dapur is smoker-friendly. Retro-chrome and vinyl bar tables frame one side of the entrance, a fountain with greenery on the other. Papery chandeliers light the mood: all this before a diner even opens the door. 

Inside, speakers that would dwarf a child 

pump beats so loud you feel it from in your chest. A giant golden Buddha meditates against the wall in the dining room while another lounges in a painting framed in purple. Gossamer room dividers flutter in a fan-induced breeze. Orchids pose in bursts of magenta. 

At 10:30 p.m. on a Thursday, Dapur may sound like a club, yet it's still a restaurant. One table houses a father and his grown children. A bunch of two-tops host lovelies and their guys in starched, collared shirts looking slightly uncomfortable. 

The most relaxed folks are those at the bar: A dozen women on one leg of the black-lacquered -L, a handful of guys in T-shirts as tight as condoms on the other, waiting for the flip-switch from restaurant to club.

Dapur touts itself as an Asian fusion trendsetter, with an extensive menu of steamed and fried small plates ($4 to $12), soups, specialty sushi rolls ($12 to $18), and big plates ($12 to $20). 

The cocktail list here is the first I've seen in Lauderdale that illuminates a cognizance that the rest of the country has graduated past -tinis. The offerings are twofold: an old-school menu of Negronis, Screwdrivers, Greyhound, Old Fashioneds, and Caipirinhas for $10 on one side, house cocktails named for locations around the world -- Panama Red and Dartsmoor, for example -- on the other.

Stick to the raw fish for now -- an extensive selection of sashimi and specialty rolls -- but heads up: It can be had only in the dining room, where there's no bar seating, only table service. 

Take a pass on the bony miso cod medallions with the honey miso glaze ($12) or the oxtail soup ($6) served with bright-red meat still adhesive to the bone in a fatty lemongrass broth: evidence of a half-assed skim job. 

Dapur,1620 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-306-2663.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter. Follow me @melissamccart

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart