Kuro Hits the Jackpot With Delectable Japanese Cuisine

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It’s easy to spend the whole day at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. The beautiful property spans roughly 100 acres and is full of everything from casino games and restaurants to clubs, bars and lounges. When hunger strikes, it can be a tough decision with so many delectable choices in front of you. We’ll make it easy for you: Go to Kuro.

One of the newest additions to the property’s portfolio of restaurants, Kuro delivers quality Japanese fare at quality prices. The kitchen, led by Executive Chef Alex Becker and Executive Sushi Chef Shuji Hiyakawa, is pumping out plate after plate of delicious bites to tantalize taste buds and leave diners happy.

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A quick primer on the name: “Kuro” is the Japanese word for “black,” and you’ll definitely notice the color throughout the restaurant’s design, which was crafted by David Mexico who previously worked on Nobu properties.

But there’s more to the name’s story than meets the eye. Kuro is also short for “Kuroko,” a term that references Japanese theater; stagehands traditionally wear all black in Japanese theater, and at Kuro, you’ll see that the floor team is wearing just that. Think of Kuro as performance art: the kitchen is the main stage, and the food is the main event.

Based on our recent experience, you’ll want a front row seat to this stellar show. There are two ways to order at Kuro: order what your stomach desires and it’ll be coursed out for you, or answer a few questions and be surprised with a tasting menu that averages $80 per person. We felt adventurous and opted for the latter option. After answering four questions — like “Raw or cooked? — we waited patiently for our culinary adventure to begin.

Our first two plates were the seared salmon sashimi and scallop sashimi, both of which we gulped in one bite. The former, with its apple chutney and 12-spice, hit it out of the park by pairing sweetness and spiciness so precisely. Combined with creamy sesame, the dish was basically everything we’ve ever wanted in a salmon salad — but in just one bite. The scallops had a more subdued flavor … until its tart finish. Our server called this a palette-cleansing dish, and it was; it also featured some of the smoothest scallops we’ve ever had.

As a first act, the two dishes did their job of whetting our appetite for what followed: the wagyu carpaccio, which had us exclaiming “woohoo!” once we bit in. Actually, our excitement started well before that when we first smelled the dish. While you’ll be tempted to dig right in, take a second to appreciate the olfactory awesomeness. What we particularly enjoyed about this dish was the soy sauce spheres. Breaking them releases the sauce, adding some nice saltiness to the dish.

Our bodies were not ready for what came next: the tuna crispy rice. Our friends who had been to Kuro raved about this plate, and the praise was well-deserved. The rice tasted like that crispy, stuck-on-the-bottom-of-your-mom’s-rice-pot rice that’s soooo good. It might look like a small bite, but it’s a mouthful. In this theater performance, the tuna crispy rice deserves the spotlight.

From this point of the meal, the quality never let up. Two evening specials — lobster tempura and wagyu donburi — pummeled us with tastes that ran the gamut from sweet to salty to umami. The Wagyu tacos … tender and delicious meat with a crispy shell (and sneaky heat). The ribeye miso … beautifully seasoned, medium rare and the definition of a great steak (its picture should be in the dictionary). The sea bass miso … sweet, delicate and flaky. And the seared hamachi nigiri … hot damn.

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The tasting menu will leave you with hardly any room for dessert, but we urge you to squeeze it in somehow. Two words: Apple Tobanyaki.  17 more words: soy caramel apples with mochi, roasted pecans, yamazaki ice cream and salted caramel sauce at the bottom. This heavenly dish is a twist on a deconstructed apple pie with some chewy mochi for extra texture — it’s a beauty and a must during your visit.

We give this performance five stars. From the first act to the closing curtain, this show did not disappoint. Featuring an all-star cast, great direction and a beautiful set, Kuro is one of the hottest tickets in town. You do not want to miss it.

Kuro is located at 1 Seminole Way inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Fort Lauderdale. For hours of operation and other information, visit their official website or call 954-327-7625. 

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