When Ross Restaino was ready to propose to Ashley Applebaum, he knew the perfect setting. A party with friends at Masamune in Deerfield Beach. Since their first visit to Masamune five months ago, the Coral Springs couple has been dining at the Japanese restaurant every Monday for a special “date night.” When he was ready to pop the question, servers and sushi chefs were in on the celebration.
It’s not like customers pop the question every day at Masamune, but it doesn’t take long for newcomers to feel like regulars. As soon as you sit down, servers bring hot towels and a bowl of noodles. Making guests feel welcome is one of the reasons Masamune has been a steady success for 17 years. Owner Hidetoshi Hatayama, a native of Japan, was among the sushi pioneers in Broward, opening the place at a time when a tuna or eel roll was truly exotic fare. Hatayama keeps the place interesting with new rolls, diner bonus cards and events like a sushi-making class on Super Bowl Sunday (who needs chicken wings when you can have dancing eel?).
Ambience: Glass water walls and soothing hues create such a relaxing atmosphere that you wouldn’t guess the place was named after a famed Japanese swordsmith.
- Bracingly clean, thinly sliced tuna tataki served with a citrusy ponzu sauce
- Steamed or pan fried gyoza
- Light and crisp tempura
- The elegant Heart of Japan roll – ruby red tuna, sticky sushi rice, chopped cucumber and avocado (pictured)
- Crunchy tuna with panko crumbs, flavorful tuna and avocado
- A la carte choices wahoo, salmon, eel and squid
- Tempura bananas Red bean and green tea ice cream
What Didn’t Work
- Overcooked chicken yakitori and lobster teriyaki overpowered by sauce