True to its Hard Rock roots, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., is a larger than life destination – an adult playground for lovers of gaming, music, shopping and dining. It should be noted, however, that ‘larger than life,’’ doesn’t mean “over the top’’ or “style over substance.’’ In this case, it simply means “the real deal.’’
Nowhere is that real deal exemplified more than at Kuro, the resort’s 240-seat Japanese restaurant that features a deep menu of contemporary artisanal dishes using locally sources and imported ingredients from Japan. Kuro opened in March 2015 at a reported cost of $12 million inside the hotel and casino complex.
“We wanted to create a contemporary Japanese menu that would speak to South Florida diners and incorporate the best ingredients we could find,’’ said Kuro Executive Chef Alex Becker, whose career includes seven years at Nobu and as Corporate Executive Chef at Katsuya in Los Angeles.
Mission accomplished. If there is a better Japanese restaurant in South Florida, I haven’t found it. From the sushi and sashimi to the Salmon Cartoccio to the thin-sliced Japanese Wagyu Beef (my favorite) served on a hot stone (you cook it yourself), Kuro is the top of the Seminole Hard Rock’s fine-dining food chain that includes the great Council Oak Steak & Seafood restaurant.
The staff also is top of the line. Each server knows the menu inside-out and can offer recommendations based on each guest’s palate.
Some fan favorites: Kuro’s new-style sashimi dishes (try the Live Scallop and King Crab); the Duck Breast and Beef Negima are “must haves’’ on the Robata Charcoal Grill menu; and Wasabi Tenderloin is a terrific dish.
Kuro’s sushi menu, by the way, is overseen by Executive Sous Chef Shuji Hiyakawa, a protégé of legendary Chef Masaharu Morimoto.
For guests looking for something a bit more unique, try the Hokkaido Scallop.
“It’s wonderful new take on scallops that features yuzu jelly, young ginger and sea salt,’’ Becker said.
Also, the Koji Lamb is a savory dish with cauliflower, kabocha croquette and a blueberry demi. In the Sesame Panna Cotta, Becker explores of techniques and textures.
And if you’re looking for a cocktail that fits the experience, go with the Kuro, the restaurant’s namesake cocktail that uses squid ink.
Oh yes, the Kuro meu changes seasonally. Becker plans a menu change next month, but don’t be afraid to ask off-the-menu items.
“We’re looking forward to expanding the menu where we see opportunities to excite and please our guests’ palates,’’ Becker said. “We enjoy working hard every day to make sure our guests have the best experience possible.’’
It’s an experience guests won’t soon forget.