There certainly is no shortage of sushi-fusion -- typically sushi-Thai -- destinations in South Florida. This is something Kapow! Noodle Bar executive chef Anna Feinberg recently commented on when asked about her favorite dining spots, noting that the recently-opened Fusionarie Japanese Signature in Royal Palm Place had made her sit up and take notice.
|Sushi is a work of art at the relatively new Fusionarie Japanese Signature. |
The restaurant has "the best sushi around that I've had in a while. It's really good, and the presentation is really cool," Feinberg said of the hip new space in a thoroughly restaurant-saturated area of downtown Boca (Royal Palm is home to more than 20 restaurants alone).
Interested to see if the restaurant indeed was doing things differently than the dozen or so places in a three-mile radius offering a similar concept, my companion and I set out for a Thursday night dinner at the sushi house. Parking in Royal Palm Place was the typical snarled chaos but we had no problem securing a table once we arrived: The interior was practically empty, with most of the other diners opting for tables at either the front or side patios. We took a table at the side patio, which we shared with a few other groups, including an older couple who'd brought their poofy white purse-dog along for the meal (Dining out in Boca is nothing if not predictable).
The dinner menu at Fusionarie includes entrees from the kitchen ($12-$24) and the sushi bar ($13-$35) plus a well-curated list of sushi rolls with mostly straight-forward names and a smattering of starters. A seaweed salad ($5) with ribbons of cucumber mixed in with chili and sesame oil was peppered with sesame seeds, while edamame with sea salt ($5) seemed naked after many happy hours spent inhaling the oily, wok-charred variety at nearby Kapow! Noodle Bar.
|The side patio had mostly cleared out by the end of the dinner hour, which in Boca Raton isn't terribly late. |
Perhaps noting an apparent affinity for green starters, a food runner gleefully asked if we wanted to try the shishito peppers ($6) which we hadn't seen on the menu. A little unsure of what to expect -- though the patio isn't loud by any means, the staff all speak in such hushed tones that it was difficult to discern what was being said at times -- the peppers, lightly tossed in a sesame oil and fish flakes, were a hit.
"If you get a hot one, that means you're lucky," the runner said as she set the dish down in front of us. After ingesting about five of them, my date struck gold. "You need to buy a Mega Millions ticket," I said, never hitting a spicy one myself.
The rolls we selected were as Feinberg had advertised: Artistic and bursting with fresh ingredients. The vegan roll ($8) with avocado, cucumber, asparagus, kampyo, and oshinko was listed in the "old fashion rolls" section, while my mango roll ($13 and pictured at the top of this post) with tempura shrimp, cream cheese, asparagus, avocado, and mango sauce was listed under the "house signature" section. Sushi purists can rest assured: There certainly are more traditional choices and you also can select the $50 omakase (chef's choice) option.
|Bite into a hot one and have good luck. |
|Yeah, there's no fish in this vegan roll, but it's no slouch in the flavor department. |
Despite a very vegetable-heavy meal, we couldn't muster the fortitude for dessert. Choices include green tea ice cream and a banana spring roll. A trip inside to check out the interior drew a chorus of friendly greetings from a trio of employees lined up at the sushi counter. Presumably they had little to do, since it was edging toward 9 p.m. and this is not a city known for its protracted dinner hour.
|After 8 p.m., things can get a little quiet in Boca. |
Fusionarie is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. They are open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday. Saturday hours are noon to 11 p.m. Take-out and catering are available.
Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.
500 Via De Palmas, Boca Raton, FL