Coco Asian Bistro, Fort Lauderdale

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Coco Asian Bistro is not what one would expect from a Lauderdale shopping complex. Driving into the location, this restaurant stands out in flames, literally. An outside patio and fire torches, invites customers to dine al-fresco or inside, where the atmosphere is equally unique. Adorned with a combination of individual booths, draped with linen curtains, high-tops for two, and large group tables, the dimply lit Bistro can accommodate almost every kind of customer.

Well known for its sushi and signature cocktails, this restaurant packs up on the weekend. I started with the Tuna Tataki and Vietnamese Summer Rolls, nicely combined with traditional hot sake, to sip alongside. Mango, tuna, and avocado are piled high on a plate for the tataki starter, and the shrimp spring rolls were flavorful yet light on palate.

As for entrees, Mike’s Roll and the Lobster Roll are both unmistakable hits. The bistro prides itself on the unique use of black sticky rice in Mikes Roll, which combines tuna, spinach, avocado and the unusual nutty rice….pushing the boundaries of conventional mainstream sushi.

The Lobster Roll came out elaborate, wrapped and decorated as if an Asian piece of artwork.  A 6oz tempura tail, asparagus, avocado, and cucumber was is topped with imitation crab and served with fruit brimming from a martini glass.

Once the taste buds had settled, it was time to try a lychee martini (not on the menu, but a habit left over from my Buddha Bar days) which was exquisitely presented with two lychees soaked in vodka; a desert to match them all, and a great way to seal the deal. Coco Asian Bistro might be a littel out of the infamous Los Olas mix of bars and restaurants, but they get my vote.

See www.cocoasianbistro.com

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