By: Dan I. Cook:
You know the feeling when you walk into one your favorite American restaurants where everyone treats you like family and it just feels like home? Well, Sakura has that vibe, with an Asian twist.
Every time I walk into this joint, it’s usually with my best bud Richie. The owner, Tina gets a big smile on her face and greets us right away. We in turn give her a big hug, at the same time. Mind you, me and my buddy are big dudes and she is tiny. So you can barely see Tina when we do this, but you can hear her giggle like crazy. Her brother Ming is a solid guy and is also very friendly. Not to mention, he is one of the best sushi chefs, not just in Coral Springs, but in Broward County. I’ll get to that in a moment. Tina and Ming have both owned this place for 17 years and that is a major accomplishment in this day and age.
My #1 Concern With Sushi Restaurants
Sushi is an art. If you saw the movie, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about. By the way, I highly recommend that movie if you are a fan of sushi.
In order to create art you need a clean canvas, which means the restaurant must be clean.
This includes everything: bathrooms, floors, tables, cutting surfaces and even the employees. Now I will sacrifice those issues if the place is a dive like the Treasure Trove in Ft. Lauderdale. Ever seen that bathroom? Crazy, but the food is good. So in my mind It’s really simple, most dives are not serving raw food.
Now, I’ve eaten here easily over 50 times. I’ve even closed this place on several occasions and I’ve witnessed Ming and his employee Sam cleaning up the sushi station. They are like two scrubbing bubbles: by the time they are done, the sushi station is spotless, the bathrooms are clean, and there is no clutter in the restaurant. They do a great job here.
I wouldn’t say I’m a sushi snob, but as Drake says, “I started from the bottom now I’m here,” which means, I started off eating California rolls and graduated to eating uni, which is sea urchin gonads. A sushi purist adores uni, and it’s not for the faint of heart. I happen to love it.
I strictly go here for sushi, but they do serve some Thai dishes like Pad Thai, which my buddy Richie tried and loved, and at some point I’ll sample it. I usually sit at the sushi bar so I can chat with Ming. Occasionally, he’ll let me sample some creation he’s whipped up. Case in point: when I recently went, he made toro sushi with wasabi fish eggs on top and raw squid with truffle oil. They both were outstanding and aren’t on the menu so you need to ask for it. My favorite was the squid. Any person who has had squid knows that it can have a fishy taste. Don’t know how Ming did it, but the earthy flavor of the truffle oil won the flavor battle over the fishy taste. I was impressed, and it was delicious.
I’ve had every type of sushi here with the exception of anything served with quail or chicken eggs. I don’t eat eggs like that so I’ve never tried those items. Also I stay away from the mayo based sauces because of my egg issues. My favorites are, uni, sweet shrimps which is raw shrimp where the heads are deep fried and you eat them like a potato chip. The Spider Roll, which is deep fried soft shell crab wrapped in rice with eel sauce, anything with toro in it, and a basic tuna roll. Portions are good and the price of their uni is the cheapest in town.
Overall, excellent food.
The VIP Service
The service is outstanding. They treat me like a real MVP and all the servers have been there a long time, which is another clue that Ming and Tina are doing something right.
Come out of the Closet Please
As for ambiance, it’s got a great positive vibe. The booths have sliding doors for privacy. I always like to practice coming out of the closet when I sit in there. My daughter loves sitting in those booths, but the sushi bar is my favorite. As for any updates to the decor, I think it looks fine and doesn’t look old or tired. I would like them to remove all the little signs that block your view of the fresh fish in the sushi case. I move them out of the way when I sit at the sushi bar. That’s really the only critique I have.
I highly recommend this place. So if you are taller than 6’1, weigh over 280 pounds and you are a male, make sure you ask to hug Tina like Dan and Big Rich.
Remember to tell them Dan and Coral Springs Talk sent you. Stay Hungry!
1750 University Drive
Coral Springs, FL 33071
Mon-Thur: 11:30 am – 10:30 pm
Fri-Sat: 11:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Delivery 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm all week