Last Update
Sep 19th, 2016

Suan

290 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33301
954 870-6147
Overall Rating
2.3
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
09/14/2016

Details

Hours: M-Th 11:30-10pm, Fri 11:30-11pm, Sat 12:30 - 11pm, Sun 12:30-10pm
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes, No Amex
Alcohol: No
Outdoor: Yes

Pros

Free Parking

Cons

Food Tastes Wrong
Storefront Ambiance

Critic's Review

I had to drop off some package at Fed Ex across the street from this place; I never think about it when I'm trying to decide which "nearby" placed I can have lunch when I'm short on time. Didn't like the place when they first opened; I checkout out their lunch choices and decided to try it again.

3 Asian places in a week. Some sort of record for me.

The place is always dead. One thing I noticed when I walked in is that they've added some bench seating. I don't really like it; I get that it's easier you get a couple of extra seats with it but I don't want to sit that close to other people in an empty restaurant.

I got a table on the north side, which a nice view of the TV.

A girl came over and took my iced tea order; they have regular iced tea now for $2.50 so you don't have to pay $3.50 for the fancy tea that you don't really want.

I like the idea of giving a carafe so you don't have to wait for refills. And they did some little flower thing with the straw wrapper. Very Asian.

I ordered the Tuna Tataki sampler, sticking with the all fish options. It comes with a salad; the only choices for dressing are Ginger and Peanut. Asian restaurants simply refuse to offer dressings that Americans like, despite operating their restaurant in America. Ginger is junk. so I thought I'd try the peanut.

Uh, this looked just like the Ginger dressings; thick orange stuff ladled onto a bed of lettuce. The dressing wasn't terrible, however they put WAY too much on. The salad was swimming in the thick sauce, to the point where I couldn't really eat it. It would have been a lot better with 1/2 the amount of dressing.

Waiting for the food. There were 3 other people in the restaurant. I caught some Divorce Court on the TV, and I had a delightful view of Fed Ex Office. I've never seen anyone eating outside here. Maybe in the evening it's more appealing. I've expressed my opinion of these storefront restaurants; they should really board over half of these windows so you don't feel like you're eating in a Radio Shack.

The girl slipped by and dropped off some sauces; something not offered at the more elegant Coco Asian, where I dined last week.

I could see the "chef" working up a storm; how long does it take to slice up some fish?

The box came about in 15 minutes. Similar to the portion you get at other restaurants. I think they sell these trays on Alibaba.

The main event, the Tuna Tataki, is seared tuna usually garnished with garlic and ginger an served with a citrus vinaigrette or something. This didn't have much of a sauce at all; green onions and tomato didn't seem right; it just tasted like raw tuna. Good quality tuna; a few extra slices of sashimi to me.

The sashimi was good quality but sliced thicker than I like. They could have sliced these pieces in half and claimed to give you twice as much and it would have suited me just fine. Thick piece of fish aren't as good as thin slice of fish.

I decided to eat the nigiri as sushi rather than stripping off the fish. Surprisingly, it didn't taste like sushi at all. It seems that they used long grain rice and forgot to vinegar it.

The rice was completely useless so I ended up having to strip off the fish. The california roll fell apart when I bit into it,which is kind of annoying.

The seaweed is exactly the same everywhere; I think it comes in a big jar form the local Japanese Big Box distributor.

One of my new peeves is ginger being cut in slices that are too long. I get that everyone does it similarly, but why are the slice so long? I don't want a 3" piece of Gari and you can't cut it with chopsticks. Why not cut them into smaller pieces? Nobody wants to bite into a huge piece of ginger.

I passed on the cookie.

Conclusion

On my first visit here I complained that the dish I ordered had no taste; interestingly the same applied here. Nothing tasted the way I expected, not even the sushi rice. The fish was a good quality, but given the storefront ambiance there are better places at the same price in town to get your sushi.

The also open at 12:30pm on Weekends, which is kind of strange.

Review 5/14/14

Suan Thai and Japanese quietly opened last week in the space previously occupied by Baja Fresh Mexican; I picked up a take-out menu when I dropped off a package at Fed Ex but they don't have their hours on the menu. I noticed the "Open" sign on last Friday so I supposed that they were open for lunch.

At 2:00 there was 1 person eating inside. They don't have a hostess. "Sit Anywhere". I had the choice of sitting in front of the register or near where the owner was having a meeting. I'm not a fan of the big open rooms. Privacy is kind of nice in a restaurant.

They have a lunch menu and a "book" with their regular menu that's a bit daunting to go through. The lunch specials are various combinations of sushi, sashimi, california rolls and tempuras and teriyakis in just about every combination. They're mostly 11.99 to 12.99. They also have an "organic" tea menu for $3 that I mistakenly thought was iced tea; not realizing where I was. Regular iced tea is $2.50 so I ordered "Jasmine Green Tea", I also ordered off of the regular menu; Garlic Squid which is described as served on a bed of vegetables.

The tea turned out to be a mistake. I didn't like it at all. I drink Green Tea once in a while but this stuff was vile. Oh well, at least it's good for me. My server swung by and asked if I wanted white or brown rice, I guess he forgot to ask. I wasn't eating rice but I asked for brown to see what I got.

There's no music at all. A few other people came in so at least I wasn't in here all alone. The food came out in about 15 minutes.

The brown rice was completely devoid of flavor, which I guess isn't unexpected, but a bit of salt makes all the difference with rice. I don't know why they can't season it a bit and throw in some green onions.

The squid was a pretty big pile with a loose brown sauce.

Not exactly what I expected. The "vegetables" were some not-so-green broccoli, shredded carrots and cabbage leaves. Some of the squid was rubbery but overall not too bad, but there was no flavor in the dish. The squid could just as well been steamed; the brown sauce was not savory or garlicky at all. Like brown water.

$23 for this and I didn't like one thing about it. Not a bad looking place and service was cheerful. Oh, and they don't take AMEX.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Administrator
Reply
I've gotten a couple of comments about the negative review here, so I'll try to explain it. I ordered some food, and it SUCKED. Ok. Maybe I got unlucky. Maybe everything else is great, but the dish I got:

1) Had bad ingredients
2) Wasn't skillfully prepared
3) Didn't taste good.

Now perhaps you have some other criteria for measuring a restaurant. But when I pay over $20 and don't get 1 thing that tastes good, I give a bad review. That's how it works.

And as for the whiners complaining that they "just opened and were working out the kinks"; I paid $20 for junk. Don't open if you're not ready to be criticized.
Brian
Reply
I agree with the Administrator's review. My thai food was barely acceptable since it was overcooked and lacked spice even though I asked for it to be "spicy hot". Music would be a pleasant addition instead of hearing other customer's conversations. Also, the server apparently forgot my lunch time order and needed to be reminded after about twenty minutes that I was still waiting. This town needs a good thai restaurant and Suan thai isn't it.
Kim
Reply
Looks a bit expensive; those are Las Olas prices in a strip mall.
JZ
Reply
Kim, have you SEEN the prices for a simple tempura shrimp roll at Quarterdeck?! The sushi prices are extremely reasonable. And, don\'t knock the fact that it\'s in a strip mall. The best places are in strip malls....
Administrator
Reply
Why would anyone go to Quarterdeck much less order a tempura shrimp roll at Quarterdeck?

The argument that other restaurants are wildly overpriced is not an argument for some other place not being overpriced. I don't think that this place would be overpriced if the food was good. As for the strip mall, rent is more expensive in Malls and on Las Olas than in strip malls, so you expect to pay more. This is the Hardy Park argument; you simply must charge less for lower rent areas, or you're overcharging.

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