By Elaine Walker
Sushi isn’t always the most budget-friendly dining option, but sometimes you just have to splurge. One way to keep the costs down is with a Pan Asian meal, mixing in some stir-fry or noodle dishes that are more filling for the same money. Here are three Broward outposts worthy of a visit.
Pembroke Pines’ Sushi Café & Thai Cuisine moved across the street almost a year ago, tripling its size and greatly expanding its following. The bustling green & yellow atmosphere is kid-friendly but still good for a casual date night. Whether you like Thai or sushi, the kitchen does a great job. The two rolls we ordered were loaded with fish, and the nutty taste of the brown rice (a $1 upgrade) made them incredibly satisfying – the Birthday Roll contained shrimp tempura, eel and asparagus while Bob’s Roll included wahoo, shrimp and crab topped with snapper tempura. The chicken mushroom garlic stir-fry featured shiitake mushrooms and other vegetables in a soy garlic sauce that was flavorful but too heavy on soy sauce. Pad Thai was a solid execution of a classic, with a side of peanut sauce. Each dish also came with a choice of salad or miso soup. Sushi Cafe & Thai Cuisine: 2112 N. Flamingo Rd, Pembroke Pines; 954-437-5558; Prices: Appetizers $2.25-$11.25; cooked entrees $10.50-$17.50 and sushi rolls $5.25-$12.25.
Yummy Asian Grill’s Pan Asian menu includes enough Chinese, Thai and Japanese variety that you’d have to return at least a dozen times to sample everything. Open since February in Miramar’s Shoppes of Silver Isles, the restaurant is still trying to become noticed – it was half empty on a Saturday night- but it’s definitely worth discovering if you’re in the neighborhood. The salmon California roll was an upgrade on the classic. The Szechuan platter lived up to its billing with a plentiful mix of shrimp, chicken, roast pork and vegetables flavored with just the right blend of sweet and spicy; honey garlic chicken used well-sized chunks of chicken breast; and roast pork pan-fried noodles was another winner, although most of the noodles were more soggy than crispy. Yummy Asian Grill: 16283 Miramar Pkwy, Miramar; 954-392-8899; Prices: Sushi rolls $5.75-$15.94; most Chinese/Thai dishes $8.50-$16.95; tempura/teriyaki dishes $9.95-$17.95.
In East Fort Lauderdale, where most restaurants come and go, cozy Japanese landmark Tokyo Sushi has stood the test of time. Open since 1995, the place sticks to sushi, teriyaki, tempura, noodle dishes and other Japanese specialties. We went straight for a sampler of house specialty rolls: the Andy Roll (cooked salmon and whitefish), the Japanese Village Roll (tuna, salmon, hamachi and avocado) and the Holly Day Roll (salmon, asparagus and avocado rolled and topped with tilapia tempura). Then we supplemented with a simple shrimp roll and an order of shumai, steamed shrimp dumplings. Our favorites were the Holly Day, the Japanese Village and the shumai. But we probably should have substituted a cooked dish for one, because our hungry eater wasn’t completely satisfied. Tokyo Sushi: 1499 SW 17th St Cswy, Fort Lauderdale; 954-767-9922; Appetizers $4.25-$8.50; specialty rolls $7.50-$13.50; Japanese hot dishes $7.25-$14.95