UPDATE: The sushi bar, with its 10 seats, has opened at Sushi By Bou. The rest of the 80-seat restaurant will open sometime in June, according to the owners.
A new sushi spot is coming to Broward County when Sushi By Bou Beach Club opens in Juneat the the Marriott Residence Inn Pompano Beach.
Presided over by Boca Raton native and sushi master David Bouhadana — hence the restaurant’s name — it is called omakase-style, a Japanese service that is more of a curated chef’s choice than your more familiar a la carte way of ordering sushi.
The phrase can be interpreted as “I trust and leave it up to you,” and in this case means that the sushi chef prepares a guided multi-course meal of different sushi that has some sort of progression of flavors, with an emphasis on artistic presentation and seasonality.
“Omakase means trust me,” explains Bouhadana’s partner Michael Sinensky. “It doesn’t matter who you are … everyone wants to take a trip to Tokyo and have some of the freshest fish in the world. We try to make that happen, but in their neighborhood.”
A typical hour-long service might include an array of nigiri sushi such as bluefin tuna, marinated ikura (roe), uni (sea urchin roe), fatty tuna or perhaps a Hokkaido scallop topped with charcoal salt.
Of course there are some caveats.
“You come in and tell us about any allergies, or whether you want kosher style and don’t want, or maybe you’re just allergic to, shellfish,” Sinensky says. “But at the end of the day, the chef is the one who decides which way to go, based on your likes and dislikes.”
There is a more easy-going izakaya menu as well, where the emphasis is on sushi and maki served in a more casual service along the lines of a gastropub or tapas bar. Izakaya translates to “sit and shop for sake.”
A 12-piece omakase meal is $50 per person. “And we have a Bou-Gie Package that doubles your time [to two hours] and you have more of a variety for $100,” says Sinensky.
The izakaya menu hasn’t been revealed, so we don’t have prices yet. However, according to the company’s website, the catering prices are $75 for eight rolls, $100 for 12 rolls and $125 for 16 rolls. A platter of 40 pieces of hand-molded nigiri sushi is $195.
There is also an in-house sake sommelier along with a mixologist making beach-style cocktails, as opposed to Japanese traditional drinks found at other Sushi by Bou restaurants.
“We are playing toward the ocean,” says Sinensky
The omakase bar will be limited to 10 seats per hour.
For izakaya dining, there are an additional 40 seats indoors and 40 seats outdoors.
Hank Freid, the owner of Residence Inn at Marriott Pompano Beach, says, “It’s not just the food, this is an experience. It’s very, very intimate [for omakase]. Or you can sit by the pool or by the beach or by the restaurant [for izakaya]. You know, sushi on the beach doesn’t happen too often.”
Freid is also the president and CEO of Impulsive Group, a hospitality company with a stable of boutique hotel and yacht charter companies. There are Sushi by Bou restaurants in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Miami Beach (the former Versace Mansion).
Impulsive Group’s Sanctuary Hotel New York has the best-known Sushi by Bou location, which is more of a speakeasy. Not so with this latest venue in Pompano Beach.
“It’s a different environment walking into the restaurant,” Freid says. “You’re not going to feel like you’re in a Marriott hotel. The restaurant, it is very very cool looking with living walls. There is furniture from Bali, these tree trunk tables.”
Sinensky says that they are eager to open a second South Florida restaurant.
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“We are extremely excited and bullish about Florida,” he adds. “Coming from New York and seeing the difference on how New York is doing with the economy renewal and how Florida is doing … Florida is so alive.”
Freid says that in addition to the hospitality industry looking to expand outside of the Northeast, he has also seen a push toward Broward County from Miami-Dade.
“Pompano Beach is up and coming,” he says. “People are pushing north. We had purchased, about six or seven months ago, the Sand Harbor Resort and Marina on the Intracoastal. This other property was like three minutes away. We are interested in going to places that have good bones, need good management and need a facelift. But I’ve seen shifting, even before COVID, to warmer climates.”
For his part, Sinensky adds that they do not focus their energies on patronage from the hotel guests, but rather the surrounding communities.
“When we choose a location for our concepts we look for locals, local business people, local residents to be our main guests. That’s who we cater to. They are our gravy. I mean fish. And potatoes.”
- Sushi by Bou Beach Club will be located at 1350 Ocean Blvd. in Pompano Beach.
- Omakase dinner seatings at the restaurant sushi bar are Mondays–Thursdays from 5-10 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m.-midnight. Omakase lunch will be offered Saturdays and Sundays from noon-3 p.m.
- The izakaya menu will be served Mondays–Thursdays from noon -10 p.m.; Fridays from noon-11 p.m.; Saturdays from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sundays from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.