FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — With the Atlantic Ocean as a breezy backdrop and sophisticated food and ambience on center stage, Takato located at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach is a feast for the eyes as well as the palette. The oceanfront restaurant with outdoor patio seating for 200 opened in late 2020 and has never looked back.
“I mean you know opening a restaurant during a pandemic was something very complicated, but we’ve been 200% trusting on the concept, as to what we can provide as far as food and service. We’ve been busy and we’re lucky,” said General Manager Paul Fabre.
Takato means “extreme happiness” in Japanese, which is exactly how CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo felt when she tried the tequila-based cocktail inside an adorable puffer fish cup called Fugu Cup.
“Puffer fish never tasted so good,” said Petrillo.
Inside is contemporary and clean and features a 26-foot intricately designed sushi bar, where Chef Taek Lee, known as “Chef Taka,” blends both Korean and Japanese flavors.
“The idea is to make sure that all the dishes come out together and it’s an all-sharing concept. That’s what we wanted to have,” said Fabre.
Chef Taka joined Petrillo for the tasting and they jumped right into his Korean inspired Kimchi fried rice.
“Is it a traditional dish in Korea?” asked Petrillo.
“Yes,” said Chef Taka. “It is, but this is a little different. They put on a fried egg. I put on a poached egg.”
“This is a meal in itself. It’s got so much going on, so much flavor. There’s a kick and the rice are perfectly cooked, and I love those veggies,” said Petrillo.
They moved onto the Angry Chicken which has garlic ginger and spices.
“I’m going to say this Angry Chicken makes me happy,” said Petrillo.
There’s a perfectly seared and seasoned grilled Branzino, seasoned with lemon, sea salt and mango kimchi. Then, a delicately delicious Wagu gyoza with spicy onion ponzu.
“There’s a perfect amount of crunch, but there’s also a softness to it. It’s an elegant dish,” said Petrillo.
Finally, the nigiri and sashimi platter. It’s Chef Taka’s work of art inside a decorative shell he personally bought at Home Goods. Fresh wasabi root is ground for guests tableside.
“Where do you source the fish from?” asked Petrillo.
“The fish is mostly from Japan and Spain,” replied chef Taka.
“It literally melts in your mouth,” said Petrillo.
Takato, where a worldly culinary journey is yours for the taking, straight from Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Takato is open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.