Kuro Japanese Craft Kitchen, One Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL





Kuro Japanese Craft Kitchen

One Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL















Hours: Open for dinner Tue-Thur &
Sun 5:30-10:30 p.m. Fri-Sat 5:30-11 p.m. Closed Mon.
Liquor: Full bar
Appetizers and salads:
$5-$16; entrees $8-$28; desserts $8-$10























by Jana Soeldner Danger


            Kuro Japanese Craft Kitchen is an impressive addition to the dining choices at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. At the helm in the kitchen is Executive Chef Alex Becker, who also serves as the resort’s culinary director. The food is well prepared and beautifully presented. Most menu offerings are served in portions meant for sharing, making it a good place for date night.

            Designed around an ocean theme, the decor is beautiful and eye-catching without being flashy. An entry wall is dramatically studded with seashells, and river rock and beach glass accent the bar. In the dining room, wave-shaped wood beams line the walls and ceiling. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the resort's pool, and on the wall across from the windows is a glass-fronted wine case holding scores of bottles. A sculptural chandelier that hangs in the center of the ceiling, and matching fixtures lining the walls, are constructed from three miles of chain and conjure images of floating jellyfish.

            There are a number of different seating options, beginning with a communal cedar-topped table near the bar. There are also curved banquettes upholstered in silvery leather and oak-topped tables. At one end of the dining room is the open theater kitchen, where a number of chefs prepare dinner using both local ingredients and others imported from Japan. There is, of course, the sushi bar, presided over by Chef Shuiji Hiyakawa.

            The restaurant has an impressive wine list, with some nice selections offered by the glass. But you may want to try instead one of the specialty cocktails designed by mixologist Jared Boller to pair with Kuro's cuisine and divided into five flavor profiles: sweet, savory, bitter, salty and umami. There are also local craft beers as well as some imported from Japan.


            We began with crispy rice cakes ($16) topped with just-spicy-enough tuna, then crowned with a dusting of caviar that pops on your tongue. The dish was a nice mix of textures and flavors. Wagyu tenderloin, a special that evening, was made with tender, flavorful beef, seasoned with garlic and served with rice pearls and fresh, cool microgreens bathed in vinaigrette.

            Other appetizers include scallop ($14), shiromi sashimi ($18), hamachi pepper sashimi ($19) or seared salmon ($16)  sashimi ($14);  tuna or beef tataki (both $19); oysters ($12); and wagyu tartar ($19). There are eight different salads.


            Roasted clams tempura ($13) were fresh and tender-chewy. The breading was feather light, and garlicky aioli was nice for dipping.  Wagyu tacos ($12), were very good; the crispy shells contrasted nicely with the butter-tender, nicely seasoned beef, and spicy cilantro and amaillo aioli were nice dipping accompaniments.

            A tama miso marinade that becomes a glaze added a burst of flavor to fresh, firm Chilean sea bass ($25). It was served with lotus roots and carrots. Panko-coated braised pork belly tonkatsu ($19)was crispy and the meat was juicy, but the breading was heavier than it should have been. The dish was served with two very spicy barbecue sauces, and cabbage spring rolls were a cooling foil.

            Other selections are wasabi tenderloin $28; salmon cartoccio ($22); shrimp lardo ($16); and chicken amadare.


            Kuro goma panna cotta ($10) was an interesting combination of ginger gelee, sponge crumble and cucumber pearl crowned with pink pomegranate foam--the foam doesn't have much flavor, but it makes an attractive presentation. Other choices include chocolate hazelnut bar with spiced ganache, strawberry gel and sesame brittle ($12); apple tobanyaki--soy caramel apples with mocha, roasted pecans and yamazaki ice cream ($12); and Japanese doughnuts ($10).

Kuro offers fresh flavors, artful presentation and professional, friendly service. It is worth driving for, even if you don't plan to visit the casino.

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