South Florida has a bounty of fresh fish at its disposal. Yet, despite the region's proximity to the ocean and the seemingly endless fresh catches that land on plates year-round, attempting to find equally fresh sushi is often a challenge.
Miami-Dade is home to many of South Florida's top sushi spots, but what Broward and Palm Beach counties lack in nationally-esteemed names, they make up for with variety.
From indulgent omakase experiences to menus rife with dozens of specialty rolls and buffet-style spaces that churn out sushi and sashimi on rotating conveyor belts, here are the top restaurants rolling it up in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Coco Asian Bistro1841 Cordova Rd., Fort Lauderdale
Set in the always busy Harbor Shops just steps from Port Everglades, this Asian restaurant offers a wide range of fare from traditional Thai, to Japanese fusion, and sushi. While it's often not a great sign to have too many influences on a menu, it works here with a range of flavorful and well-prepared options. The raw fish tends to sway toward the Thai side with bold and interesting rolls. A longtime favorite, Mike's Roll ($16), combines tuna, spinach, avocado, asparagus, tempura flakes, cucumber, and kampyo rolled in sweet, black, sticky rice and served with the house sweet chili sauce.
Echo230 Sunrise Ave., Palm Beach
Part of the Breakers’ family of restaurants, Echo — the only eatery located off the hotel grounds — has earned its reputation as one of the best spots to eat on the Island. With a menu steeped in Asian cuisine that includes plenty of land and cooked options, it's the sushi and sashimi offerings that keep this place packed. The restaurant offers a hip, modern space with a large outdoor seating area, but the place to be is at the long, theater-style sushi bar where master chefs are on display as they put together rolls and plates with efficient precision. With more than a handful of specialty rolls to choose from, the namesake Echo ($15) — tempura shrimp with red tobiko and Sriracha sauce — is a spicy change of pace from the more traditional maki rolls found elsewhere on the menu. Ask your server for a side of specialty sauces including a tart yuzu, savory garlic soy, sweet ponzu,
Imoto350 S. County Rd., Palm Beach
Owners Sam Slattery, Piper Quinn, and chef-owner Clay Conley have created a sushi house worth salivating over with Imoto. Adhering to the mantra of “less is more,” Imoto is ingredient-driven and fresh to the max. The restaurant uses locally and internationally sourced fish — going so far as to have fish flown in daily from Japan— and keeps the servings simple. The restaurant's name means "little sister" in Japanese, and with its quaint location on Palm Beach Island, it stands as the Asian extension to Conley's highly-acclaimed nearby restaurant, Buccan. Like its older sister, Imoto's atmosphere is beautiful yet unpretentious. The menu features cold sushi rolls and special sashimi with out-of-the-box ingredients like the tuna with mango, avocado mousse, and yucca. Not in the mood for the standard menu options? The omakase chef's tasting will keep you surprised as chef Gede Adnyana serves you his personal picks of Asian flavors with an off-menu specialty you can't find anywhere else. Make it during the weekday happy hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and you can get half-priced nigiri, sashimi, and rolls (as well as cocktails and beer, wine, and sake).
Kevin's Sushi & Thai706 S. Federal Hwy., Deerfield Beach
If you're looking for supersized sushi rolls for a good price, look no further than this Deerfield Beach spot. For lunch, 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. Ongtua will be there, the counter seats at the sushi bar offering the perfect vantage point to watch as he prepares the restaurant’s most impressive menu items: Enormous sushi rolls the size of sand dollars, most priced at $10 to $12. Pricier rolls go for $16 to $18 thanks to high-end ingredients like hamachi, conch, or tuna — but can be made in half-orders for about half the price. There’s a small section dedicated to “customers’ favorites” — an homage to the loyal patrons who have supported him over the years. One thing they all share in common: Uber-Americanized takes that have gone the route of the McDonald’s supersized meal. The American Dream roll ($13) is just that with fat tempura-fried shrimp and thick cuts of eel fused together with cream cheese and avocado, topped with a splash of gooey-sweet eel sauce and sesame seeds that act as a
Marumi Sushi8271 W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation
The fact that Marumi gets packed nightly with expert chefs who've just finished their shifts — many from 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 Iwasaki and Tetsu Hayakawa. The pair serves mind-boggling dishes for serious culinary freaks from braised beef tongue to fried glass minnows. For the adventurous eater, the Uni roll ($19) is a favorite pick here; a stellar combination of creamy uni paired with the spicy, clean taste of Thai basil and crisp cucumber. For those who want to stick with Americanized rolls, creative options do exist, such as the tuna cilantro roll with tuna, garlic, and spicy sesame oil. But the real draws here are the daily fresh catch offerings and unparalleled supply of locally- and internationally-sourced fish like yellow jack, skipjack, black grouper, and snapper rendered into sashimi or seared and sliced thick.
Masamune2736 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale
A longtime favorite with locals, Masamune is best known for its creative fare. Start with the Hawaiian-style poke served with housemade honey, miso, and mustard-spiked balsamic reduction ($12.99). Go during happy hour (5:30 to 7 p.m. every day but Sunday) and order the roll tasting for $25 — your choice of any three signature rolls (minus the lobster). If one of the more than a dozen specialty sushi rolls or 18 hand rolls doesn't entice you, there's always the choice of a Masamune omakase — basically Japanese for "whatever the chef wants to make" — to indulge all your senses. Here, it won't necessarily be all sushi, but the chef's special creations — cooked or raw — are something to salivate over. Note that advanced notice and a reservation
Moon Thai2818 Weston Rd., Weston
When it comes to sushi, there are two factors that separate the good from the mediocre: The chef and the fish. At Moon Thai, chef-owner Jack Punma makes sure he offers the best of both. This Weston eatery has a near-encyclopedic menu — two volumes with close to 300 dishes in all; one for Thai and a second for Japanese — offering diners a taste of Thailand that's normally camouflaged from greenhorn Americans. You can start your meal with an authentic Thai dish like larb ($12, spelled "
Sushi Bang Bang1050 E. Gateway Blvd., Boynton Beach
This sushi spot, located in Boynton Beach's Quantum Town Center off Gateway Boulevard, is truly unique. If you're hungry, the $30 Bang Bang Boat will get you seven pieces of the master sushi chef's choice of top-grade sushi and nine pieces of the freshest sashimi (plus a Big Eye tuna California roll). Or try one of more than ten specialty rolls and over a dozen house rolls with high-quality and inventive ingredients such as Alaskan king crab, whole lobster tail, and Big Eye tuna, or housemade toppings like the jalapeño chili-garlic or Mac Daddy sauce. There's also a wide assortment of ever-changing fresh sushi and sashimi available a la carte.
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Sushi Rock Cafe1515 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
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. That's never a problem at Sushi Rock Cafe. The tiny Las Olas space is always packed, frequently racking up to 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 ($8), or the Strawberry Fields Forever roll ($13) made with barbecued sweet eel, avocado, green apple, eel sauce, and roe, topped with fresh, ripe strawberries.
SuViche401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Miami-based SuViche is a clever play on words. "Su" denotes the sushi portion of the menu, and "Viche" is a nod to the restaurant's many takes on the raw-fish dish ceviche. The Miami-based chain's co-owners