Here in South Florida, sushi spots are as familiar as burger bars and taco food trucks -- and a lot of them have the same myriad interpretations of the spider and California roll at varying price points.
First-time restaurateur Scott Kennedy hopes to stand out in the crowded sushi marketplace. He revamped Delray Beach's former Caliente Kitchen space to become Asian gastro-lounge Union, a place where you can find Chinese- and Thai-inspired comfort food and a stellar cocktail lineup.
Now, he is presenting "gourmet" sushi with Candyfish, a sushi den inside the restaurant proper that officially opens tomorrow, October 13 (although the menu has been available to patrons a few weeks now).
Union has a cavernous interior, with worn wood tables replaced by a chic cement-cast bar and high-top tables, and white-washed wood plank walls offset by chic black leather seating. Palm Beach County's largest pro-panel TV screen, 16 feet of screen that swallows the back wall, is often set to a default fish-tank screenscape, helping create the "lounge" part of the gastro-lounge concept, made complete with throbbing beats and pulsing LED lighting to attract the late-night crowd.
The gastronomes may be more interested in the menus, however, one for Union and one for Candyfish -- as well as one for the drinks and happy hour. Here, hipsters and snowbirds commingle, sipping three-for-one happy-hour cocktails and perusing a list of specialty Asian-oriented dishes.
Kennedy talked to Clean Plate Charlie about how he went from working as an accountant at a private equity firm to becoming co-owner of Delray Beach's first "gourmet sushi bar."