Pompano Beach is without a doubt undergoing “a regeneration.” With new luxury developments, infrastructure redevelopment works and a new cultural center and library – the city is attracting a whole new crowd of residents and it seems a slew of notable dining spots. Among these is casual eatery, Yakuza – which launched just over a year ago under the leadership of head chef and co-owner, Jay Areechot. The self-taught chef, who runs the Japanese-Thai fusion style restaurant with his wife, Mini wanted to create “quality Japanese, sushi and Thai food, while adding Asian tradition to modern cooking techniques.”
Decked primarily in modern décor and highlighted with traditional Japanese flair, the restaurant is casual, comfortable and welcoming. There is a constant flow of patrons and the vibe is definitely upbeat, due in part to the live music.
The menu is extensive, offering a great selection of soups, salads, hot and cold appetizers, sushi sashimi and Thai entrees. There are standouts: The mixed mushroom soup with truffle and yuzu – is a perfect starter. Light, nothing unexpected, but perfectly satisfying. We moved on to the crunchy rice – spicy tuna, red onions, cilantro, massago, wasabi cream, Serrano and black caviar placed atop deep fried rice is surprisingly flavorful, innovative and fun. We were then presented with a vibrant seafood ceviche, a pleasing medley of flavors from fresh seabass, salmon, conch and king crab marinated in a concoction of cilantro, red onion, tomato, micro shiso and yuzu jelly. Next up, the grilled Cornish hen with a flavorful coconut green curry sauce, steals the show and demonstrates Chef Areechot‘s command of Thai cuisine.
Chef Areechot delivers on flavor and execution; also notable is his attention to presentation. With spectacularly displayed dishes like the Lobster Maki and Pineapple Fried Rice capturing the attention and gasps of nearby diners. There is a nice selection of wines, and saki as well as a cocktail menu. Yakuza’s warm and informed team was well versed to lead in food and beverage recommendations when asked.
Yakuza is fusion, its fun, its lively, it’s a great addition to Pompano Beach’s growing culinary scene.