Casa Sensei, a culturally immersive dining experience with panoramic waterfront views, launches November 2018 on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard, a destination known for shopping, dining, fashion and art galleries. A new, globally-inspired concept, Casa Sensei will offer a unique Latin American twist on traditional Asian comfort food.
“Casa Sensei’s menu puts a unique twist on authentic Asian dishes thanks to modern influences from Latin American to make dining more stimulating,” explains Victor Diaz, owner of Casa Sensei, who traveled extensively through Asia to draw inspiration for the menu and the restaurant’s unique interior design. “The restaurant is one of only a few in South Florida to feature a full ‘free-style’ sushi bar alongside traditional menu favorites from Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, China and Japan under one roof.”
Upon ordering, guests are given a heaping bowl of Asian-inspired popcorn, served with a punchy drizzle of spicy chili sauce. Menu highlights include traditional Pad Thai, Lo Mein, kimchi fried rice, shrimp, crab and pork dumplings, Korean street tacos, bulgogi and assorted sushi rolls. Specialty dishes include flavorful lobster guacamole, Chinese sticky ribs, the Wagyu Turf Roll featuring Wagyu beef, arugula, red onion and asparagus in a chimichurri sauce and an Oolong tea marinated seabass.
Casa Sensei is taking over the space previously occupied by Bao Bar + Asian Kitchen but paying homage to the previous menu by keeping some of the most popular dishes including traditional Peking duck, dim sum, beef red curry and duck fried rice, along with a sumptuous selection of bao buns.
“The innovative menu is complimented by an equally impressive presentation,” insists Diaz. “It’s like a show of Instagrammable plates followed by a violet cotton candy cone for a photogenic finish.”
Casa Sensei’s sprawling 33-square-foot bar is one of the longest on Las Olas, boasting an eclectic cocktail menu with a rare selection of sakes and Japanese whiskies, in addition to specialty cocktails like the Dragon Margarita and Bangkok Basil.
In the newly redesigned space by 2C Design, guests are greeted by a lush, plant wall and unique design elements that combine midcentury modern decor in warm, relaxing tones ofolive, mauve and burnt orange with Asian inspiration from Japanese and Chinese cultures.
The exterior of the restaurant is equally impressive. Fort Lauderdale is nicknamed the “Venice of America” for the 300 miles of canals that weave through the area and Casa Sensei is nestled along the picturesque Himmarshee Canal with beautiful views of downtown Fort Lauderdale.
This unique location allows diners the option to take their dinner down the river thanks a partnership with Riverfront Gondola Tours. Patrons can reserve a private dinner cruise on one of the three eco-friendly and electric-powered boats that seat up to six people. The 90-minute gondola ride offers views of stunning waterfront homes, tropical foliage and South Florida wildlife, including manatees, peacocks, iguanas, exotic birds and other animals in their natural habitat.
The stylish restaurant includes two private dining rooms accommodating up to 22 guests, including a private VIP space that seats up to 12 people. The new redesign also includes dockside al fresco dining with a new Zen garden with fire globes and two sweeping terraces overlooking the tranquil Las Olas waterfront with seating for up to 70 guests. The eatery has attached parking within Himmarshee Landing’s 4-story, public parking garage.
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