This new Pan-Asian/Latin restaurant features waterfront dining and private dinner gondola cruising. Other notable features include a zen garden, fire globes and a full “freestyle sushi bar.” The restaurant takes the place of Bao Bar + Asian Kitchen but pays homage by keeping some menu favorites. Specialty dishes include lobster guacamole, Chinese sticky ribs and Asian-inspired popcorn given to all guests who want it as a small appetizer.
Dockside dining is just one attraction at this eatery perched on the Intracoastal just south of Oakland Park Boulevard near A1A. The vibe is Florida-casual, and you can expect to see men in Hawaiian shirts disembarking from boats and strutting inside. Traditional bar bites, Floribbean fare, and international offerings comprise the menu, including crabcakes, fried calamari, coconut shrimp, seared ahi, and conch fritters. You can also order half-pound beef burgers, overstuffed wraps, and out-of-the-ordinary takes on fish, like the blackened mahi Reuben sandwich. Cocktails run the gamut, including fruity martinis, thick frozen margarita-like concoctions, and enormous fish bowls filled with fizzy, vodka-based drinks.
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Traditional Italian cuisine in a casual atmosphere. For lunch, enjoy a selection of pastas, panini and salads. For dinner, Chilean sea bass, rack of lamb or Bistecca Alla Fiorentina (a 32 oz. USDA prime T-bone steak).
A sleek sushi, Thai, and Japanese restaurant with alfresco dining on the Tarpon River, Asia Bay maximizes its naturally romantic aspects with clean and sophisticated decor. Eight different soups, an array of cold and hot appetizers, noodle dishes, and curry plates are just the beginning here, as there are also ample options when it comes to rolls. Lunch specials allow you to combine sushi and teriyaki (among other things) and to score pad Thai and fried rice at a discount from dinner prices. For an interesting take on maki, try the deep-fried JB tempura roll with salmon, cream cheese, scallions, and eel sauce. Or indulge in the crunchy toro roll with scallions, cilantro, tempura flakes, spicy tobiko, masago, and spicy mayo for a taste of the ocean’s treasure.
Serving more than 15 gourmet burgers along with vegetarian options, the new burger house has a 15-step cooking process along with its proprietary blend of all natural, no-antibiotic and no-hormone beef. Add in a good selection of craft beers, specialty cocktails and an extended selection of wines by the glass, and this looks like an interesting new addition to the Las Olas restaurant and bar scene.
Friendship Café is an extension of The Friendship Circle of Fort Lauderdale, a not-for-profit organization that offers training and education for those with developmental disabilities. Menu items include falafel, pita, pizza, wraps, sandwiches and vegan food. The café also serves breakfast.
Sushi Shack offers much more than just sushi. The Japanese contemporary bar and grill is known for its calamari steaks from the waters of Ecuador. Other must-tries include Taka’s Tapas dishes like the Mini Tonkatsu (panko-breaded pork tenderloin served with daikon sprouts, red onion and scallions with ponzu garlic sauce topped with garlic chips).
Louie Bossi is not your typical chef. Growing up in an Italian household in New York he remembers the aromas of roasted garlic and fresh meatballs sizzling from his family’s kitchen. Raised by a single mother juggling three jobs, Bossi taught himself to cook at the age of eight. Working his way from dishwasher to cook at the local pizzeria Bossi developed a love for the art of pizza making.
Former Miami Dolphin Kim Bokamper and partners have opened their latest venture featuring New Orleans-inspired cuisine and vibes. The two-story restaurant with rooftop seating and balcony space is led by executive chef Simon Porter, whose menu blends French, Spanish, West African, Amerindian, German, Italian, Irish and Vietnamese tastes to create the New Orleans-inspired flavor. Menu items include alligator and shrimp jambalaya, fried green tomatoes and Southern confit duck Cobb. Weekly specials include all-you-can eat Saturday crawfish boils and a Sunday jazz brunch.
Kim Bokamper and his partners at PDKN Restaurant Group have added to their presence on Las Olas. This sports bar features the largest LED screen on the boulevard. Located on the first floor of PDKN restaurant The Balcony, it serves American classics with their own spin, such as short rib tacos with savory cabbage, braised short rib, crispy shallots and horseradish aioli.
This extremely popular Las Olas bar and restaurant offers traditional favorites: tamales, chimichangas, enchiladas and of course tacos. Guacamole is prepared table side, and 225 varieties of tequila are waiting to be tasted.
A local institution offering breakfast, lunch and dinner all day and night. Try the egg specials or hot cakes for breakfast, catfish fingers for a mid-day snack, and then a burger for dinner. No credit cards accepted, but there is an ATM on-site.
Calzone, panini, wings and – of course – pizza.
Calabrian owner Tony Cupelli brings his family’s ancient recipes to this chic, modern Las Olas eatery. There’s pan-fried rigatoni with meatballs and specialty pizzas topped with smoked mozzarella, Italian sausage, eggplant and parsley. Cupelli’s pollo alla Francese in white wine-lemon sauce pairs with Venetian pinot grigio.
Small, but popular Japanese place.
Having already made a good name for themselves in Coconut Grove, the founders of Bombay Darbar decided to take their talents to Las Olas Boulevard. This Indian restaurant offers authentic cuisine featuring classic staples like lamb, tandoori dishes and naan. And if you want to wash it down with something different, here’s the place if you’ve never tried Indian beer.
This attractive main street bistro serves more than just pasta and sandwiches. Sit on the terrace and people watch, or take a table inside under large black-and-white photographs, and enjoy pan-seared Canadian salmon or a classic eggplant parmigiana. The mozzarella is made in-house.
A modern take on Mexican food has hit Las Olas in a big way – 6,000 square feet to be exact. The highly anticipated Mezcal and tequila bar offers a modern take on “Mexican soul food” and also has more than 400 varieties of tequila and Mezcal along with specials like $3 margarita Mondays and $2 taco Tuesdays. Unique dishes include Swiss chard and hongos quesadillas (herbed mushrooms, Swiss chard, queso blanco and ranchero sauce), smoked brisket enchiladas and Nutella flan. They’ve also partnered up with Funky Buddha to create a New England-style IPA, which is available at the restaurant.
This quaint French provincial restaurant is known for crepes that come filled with just about anything you can imagine. Sweet crepes include fresh fruit, Nutella, caramel, and ice cream. Savory ones come with seafood, meat, scrambled eggs, and cheese. Signature crepes include the Crepe Orleans, with blackened chicken breast, sliced tomato, and Gruyere cheese. The Crepe Nova Superbe is stuffed with smoked salmon, asparagus, capers, and béchamel. For dessert, try Johnny’s Favorite crepe, stuffed with fresh strawberries, banana, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate sauce.
Empanada Top specializes in Argentinian-style empanadas and serves wines and beers perfect to wash down the Latin delicacy. Their menu includes unique empanadas such as Hawaiian (ham, mozzarella cheese and pineapple), corn and pumpkin (corn, pumpkin, onion, red bell pepper, mozzarella cheese and seasoning) and guava and cheese.