Temple Street Eatery Offers Asian Fusion That Is Anything but Traditional

Categories: Review

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CandaceWest.com
In the main dining room: Alex Kuk (general manager and co-owner) and Diego Ng (chef and co-owner).
Alex Kuk grew up in a restaurant family.

When other kids were out playing after school, Kuk was at work. While his friends celebrated holidays, he and his family were busy waiting on festive diners.

"It's not your typical lifestyle," says Kuk. "Family time is creative. Dinner may be at midnight at the restaurant. It all comes with the territory; it's not your standard 9 to 5."

Kuk, the grandson of a Miami restaurateur and nephew of Christina Wan (of the eponymous Mandarin House), and his family have owned dining establishments throughout South Florida since 1966.

And his Temple Street Eatery is the latest addition to the Wan family's roster.

See also: C-Viche Offers Peruvian Fusion in Pembroke Pines

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C-Viche Offers Peruvian Fusion in Pembroke Pines

Categories: Review

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CandaceWest.com
Chef Miguel Rios and the Camarones Jumbo C-Viche: Sauteed Jumbo Shrimp with hot aji Amarillo sauce cognac and spices served with Piura style rice.
Gastronomically speaking, Peru is a kaleidoscope of culture, the culmination of a nearly 500-year melting pot of Spanish, African, Japanese, and Chinese soldered together by the country's own indigenous cuisine.

Quintessentially simple, many of the country's best dishes are peasants' fare: whole fish pulled from the Atlantic Ocean and cut and served raw, or rice and bean-based platters accented with pit-roasted meats.

While you can find pollo a la brasa on nearly any South Florida street corner, archetypical Peruvian fare like anticuchos (grilled skewers of meat and shellfish) or arroz chaufa (Peruvian-Chinese fried rice) can be harder to find.

In Pembroke Pines, however, you have some options thanks to a number of restaurants spread over a few miles west of I-95 along a Peruvian-inflected strip of Pines Boulevard.
This is where you will find C-Viche Restaurant, which joined the ranks of the area's small, family-run establishments about six months ago with little fanfare. Located in a strip mall best-known for the lure of craft doughnuts (Mojo Doughnuts is next door), the restaurant is easy to overlook despite a bold red sign.

See also: Old Heidelberg Serves an Authentic Bavarian Feast for Oktoberfest


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Old Heidelberg Serves an Authentic Bavarian Feast for Oktoberfest

Categories: Review

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CandaceWest.com
Few cultural festivals are more internationally celebrated than Oktoberfest, but odds are you have no idea how it came to be. It all started with a royal wedding.

On October 12, 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in Munich. As was the case with any proper sovereign event, the area's commoners were invited to join in the affair. Festivities were set up on the fields next to the city's front gates. (The field picked up the moniker Theresienwiesse, or Therese's field, named for the princess.) The events culminated with a horserace, attended by the royals, several days later, on October 17. The following year, the horserace was repeated, resulting in the development of the tradition. Also, an agricultural show, intended to promote Bavarian agriculture, was added to the roster.

Over the past couple of centuries, much has changed. Carousel and games were incorporated. The dates were moved to late September to take advantage of better weather. And most important, a few beer stands with the backing of the local breweries, expanded to include massive tents and halls.

Once a local Bavarian festival, the two-plus week event now attracts more than 6 million visitors from around the globe. The pilgrimage, however, is no cheap thrill. So German bars, restaurants, beer halls, and cultural centers around the world honor the tradition in their own way.

Old Heidelberg Restaurant, New Times' 2014 pick for Best German Restaurant, is one of many.

See also: Rolling Into Pembroke Pines: Latin House Grill Proves Mobile Kitchens Have Staying Power

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Rolling Into Pembroke Pines: Latin House Grill Proves Mobile Kitchens Have Staying Power

Categories: Review

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CandaceWest.com
Owner and Chef Michell "Chef M" Sanchez.
When the economy tanked in late 2008, Cuban-born Michell Sanchez ended up like many others -- down on his luck. After his business buying and selling gold crumbled, he went from a life of luxury and globetrotting to nothing.

"I lost everything: my car, my condo," recalls Sanchez, who looks a little like a Latin Guy Fieri. "I moved into an efficiency apartment next door to my mom. It was a perfect storm. I knew I had to do something, but the last thing I wanted to do was cook. It was embarrassing. I didn't want to go from making a lot of money to flipping tacos."
Then he met his future wife, Bella, a Mexican beauty enthralled by the spices and cuisine of her homeland. Inspired by both Bella and his mother, Teresa, who had worked as a bakery manager at Miami's fabled Versailles Cuban Restaurant, Sanchez began sketching out a plan for a food truck.

In 2010, the trio bought a used truck from Orlando and rolled out Latin House Grill alongside just a handful of mobile kitchens. The truck was one of the first to hit the streets of South Florida. It set up shop at the corner of Bird Road and SW 83rd Street, selling burgers and tacos. Bella took orders at the window, while Teresa helped work the flat-top and fryer. Even his 84-year-old grandmother got involved, sitting outside the truck to pose as a hungry patron.

They made $27 on their first day of business.


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Chic, Upscale Tsukuro Is a Sign That Rowdy Fort Lauderdale Beach Is Ready to Grow Up

Categories: Review

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All photos CandaceWest.com
It's come a long way over the past couple of decades, but Fort Lauderdale Beach is still most widely known for its absurd spring-break antics from its heyday. Perms, short shorts, copious amounts of cheap booze: The beach was once a veritable frat house on steroids.

In the late '80s, that all started to change as the powers that be sought to discourage the rowdy riffraff and encourage better-behaved (and more lucrative) tourists. The strip is now interspersed with high-end resorts and eateries.

Even so, a fragment of the "glory days" still hangs on in the historic intersection of Las Olas Boulevard and A1A, with the ever-present Elbo Room and other bars clinging to cheap drinks and catering to tourists and local beach bums looking to get rowdy.

Tsukuro owner A.J. Yaari, who is the proprietor of many of the strip's bars and restaurants -- Spazio, Sangrias, Rock Bar, St. Barts Coffee Co., and the infamous watering hole Dirty Blondes -- has experienced the transitions firsthand; he started working on the beach making six bucks an hour at the tail end of the spring-break days.

"When the college students stopped coming, the business owners looked at it like a failure," says Yaari. "I saw an opportunity to start a business."

See also: Tsukuro on Fort Lauderdale Beach (Photos)

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Jimmie's Cafe 47 Descended From a Chocolate Shop to Serve Caribbean-Inspired Tapas

Categories: Review

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CandaceWest.com
Rob Granado, the General Manager and Chef at Jimmie's Cafe.
Only in South Florida could an iconic chocolate shop give birth to a Caribbean-inspired tapas restaurant.

In 1946, Jimmie Vonglis and his family escaped war-torn Europe for a new life in the States. A year later, he opened the doors to Jimmie's Chocolates in Dania Beach.

Vonglis is long gone, and the shop has changed hands several times since then, but his legacy lives on at his original storefront, which is hailed as the longest-running chocolate shop in the state.

Owners Rodney Harrison and Ken Smith took over the property in the late '90s. While the pair were originally interested only in the real estate, when they approached the former owner, he implored them to carry on the legacy of the historic business.

Call it faith, stupidity, or just a spark of intuition; the two businessmen decided to take a chance and revive the chocolate shop.

See also: Jimmie's Cafe 47 in Dania Beach (Slideshow)

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Noodle Nirvana: Hollywood's GoBistro Is a Ramen Lover's Dream

Categories: Review

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All photos by CandaceWest.com
We've all had ramen. For most Americans, it comes from styrofoam cups in flavors like "oriental" and "seafood." We eat it when we are short on time, hungover, broke, or living in a dorm.

The Japanese would shake their heads at this; for them, ramen is something of a national dish. More than just broth and noodles, it's an art form in itself, with museums and restaurants dedicated to its craft, some so narrowly focused as to concentrate on just one style, flavor, and noodle.

See also: GoBistro in Hollywood (Photos)

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DCOTA Cay Serves Gourmet Lunch Priced for 99 Percenters, in a 1 Percenter Setting

Categories: Review

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Karli Evans
It certainly isn't the most likely spot to grab a burger. From the outside, it looks like any normal, boring office park, an imposing boxlike structure with guarded gates and a parking lot.

But the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) is far from ordinary once you walk in the door. The museum-like center was once limited to designers and their patrons (aside from special days designated for the public).

However, a couple of years back, DCOTA expanded with the addition of DCOTA Cay, a swanky new lunch spot catering to the showroom staff, its customers, and the 99 percenters who want to peek into the lifestyles -- and decor -- of the rich and famous.

See also: Closer Look: DCOTA Cay in Dania Beach (Slideshow)

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Candela in Wilton Manors Mixes Mediterranean and More

Categories: Review

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CandaceWest.com
In Spain, food has a different meaning. It's both fuel and fun, consumed and enjoyed in a series of small, snack-like bites throughout the day. This all begins with a family meal, meat from a whole pig's leg sliced onto bread for a portable breakfast.

As the workday rolls to a halt, you quiet a growling belly with a quick stop at the local tasca, the working man's tavern, where tiny pintxos, tapas, and montaditos are washed down with wine and beer.

Later, you'll stroll home to enjoy the final meal of the day, a late-night feast and a few bottles of wine shared with friends and family that can stretch long past midnight.

In South Florida, where the recent small-plate obsession has tainted our palates (and pockets) with pricey, upmarket concept foods, we have no understanding of the Spanish art of celebrating food and drink.

See also: Closer Look: Candela in Wilton Manors (Slideshow)

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Beauty & the Feast Hopes to Lure Locals Back to the Beach

Categories: Review

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CandaceWest.com
Can a trendy concept lure locals to tourist-filled Fort Lauderdale Beach?
Reclaimed wood and brick, Edison bulbs, tufted leather booths, small plates, and an emphasis on "craft" seem to be the main ingredients for a trendy restaurant these days.
Beauty & the Feast Bar | Kitchen on Fort Lauderdale Beach has all of the above.

Set in the base of the boutique Atlantic Resort & Spa, the restaurant boasts that rustic/industrial vibe that has been sprouting up all around South Florida. It's perfectly "on trend" and, as such, fits neatly inside the box of au courant dining establishments saturating the culinary landscape. Here, however, it's a welcome addition to the beach's evolving dining scene.

The eateries on Fort Lauderdale Beach have long been recognized for catering to tourists, not locals. Recently, however, a new crop of restaurants -- Steak 954, G&B Oyster Bar, S3, Tsukuro, the reinvented 3030 Ocean -- has been attempting to bring Broward residents back to the coast.

See also: Beauty & the Feast in Fort Lauderdale (Slideshow)


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