Kuro

By Rebecca Charur

It’s not every day that we cross the border from the 305 to the 954. But, when we do, it’s usually to go to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.

Some travelers are motivated by the hopes of a lucky hand at poker or cashing in the big bucks at the black jack table.

My motivation was one that almost any young adult could understand-- a grumbling stomach and a craving for Japanese. From 21 miles away, the sweet and sour siren call of Kuro was still too hard to resist.

Even in the midst of a buzzing casino, lit by the glow of hundreds of slot machines, Kuro was impossible to miss. I was met by a wall of microscopic shells stacked to the tiptop of the casino ceiling. With Kuro’s logo on this wall of shells as my guide, I wandered into what felt like an underwater oasis. What I would soon discover was a new tide of contemporary Japanese food-- a refreshing change from the traditional current of edamame and shrimp tempura that plague my habitual order.

Kuro’s bold, contemporary flavors and ingredients, typical of its new-style Japanese cuisine, are set to send your taste buds spinning. These aren’t your average mock crab, inauthentic ingredients. I’m talking about ingredients imported straight from Japan making each plate more drool-worthy than the next. 

King Crab Tempura (Standout Ingredient: Snow Butter)

King Crab Tempura (Standout Ingredient: Snow Butter)

Sure tempura isn’t exactly a wild concept to the avid sushi-eater but I wouldn’t sleep on this dish just yet.

There is a new kind of flavor-packing weapon in town nicknamed snow butter. Not only was this soft powder the perfect complement to the crispy tempura, but it was also a two-in-one magic show as it dissolves along your tongue. Go ahead, have your Aquamarine moment and yell out, “it’s gone!”

Disclaimer: Although this dish is not listed on the menu, it’s worth giving your waiter a holler to see if it’s a special of the night! 

Takenoko Salad (Standout Ingredient: Takenoko aka Bamboo)

Takenoko Salad (Standout Ingredient: Takenoko aka Bamboo)

Ever wanted to know what it’s like to eat like a Panda? Hm not sure if I have either but after trying this plate, it definitely left me craving bamboo like one. Combine the bamboo with just the right amount of fresh avocado and thinly sliced Parmesan cheese and Kuro has officially transformed you into an international connoisseur.

From one friend to another, try this dish while you can. This is a seasonal plate and bamboo season is coming to an end *rolls eyes*.

Seriously though, run! 

Japanese Wagyu Beef (Standout ingredient: the wagyu beef, duh!)

Japanese Wagyu Beef (Standout ingredient: the wagyu beef, duh!)

 

Calling all meatheads: feast your eyes on this cut.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not too big on putting in work to cook my own food—simply put, I’m a lazy consumer. Needless to say, this plate was a game-changer. Kuro makes working for your food a glamorous experience thanks to a smoking 700-degree hot stone, assorted sauces, salts (including my personal favorite, curry salt) and mixed veggies. Not to mention the premium melt-in-your-mouth Japanese cut steak that is tender enough to cut with a butter knife. If you’re feeling adventurous, I’ll even challenge you to cut it with a fork.

I’ve always thought that we have a separate stomach for dessert, and thankfully so does Kuro. This dessert menu features typical favorites starting with the Thai Donuts. Coated in cinnamon and sugar, these donuts were practically irresistible alongside their three sauces. It’s not often I pass on a good ol’ leche condensada dipping sauce but at Kuro I’ll take their spiced chocolate ganache, matcha anglaise and peanut butter white chocolate trio of sauces any day.

 

Next up: the most exotic Panna Cotta you will ever have. This version of the classic Italian pudding painted a culinary picture of the ocean: the nori sponge crumble as the reefs, the cucumber pearl as the water (once popped), the pomegranate foam as the sea foam and the Panna Cotta as none other than the ocean floor itself!Just as I was tugging the dessert closer to scoop out my first bite, the waiter decked in black, came scurrying back. I couldn’t just dig in like the savage sweet tooth I am; I had to give each ingredient its proper spotlight.

First, I popped the pearls releasing a refreshing wave of liquid cucumber. Then, almost like a sweet salad, I dug to the bottom and tossed around the remaining ingredients. I was left with a medley of textures with each ingredient complemented by the smooth creaminess of the Panna Cotta.

It was LEGEN-wait for it-DAIRY

Kuro is changing the Japanese cuisine game… and if you don’t believe me, go see for yourself.