Typically, poolside restaurants are all about burgers, fries, salsa and chips, but the Westin hotel chain came up with a different idea—a sushi bar. Amatsu is a Japanese Sushi Bar located directly poolside in the Westin Beach Resort and Spa Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
I was quite intrigued when I heard from friends that they enjoyed sushi and other Japanese delights from a complete menu poolside that I had to check it out. When I hit Fort Lauderdale I headed directly for the A1A and made my way to the hotel. I walked up the main staircase in order to get to the pool and there before me was a group of café tables and a clear view of the pool through the ceiling to floor glass windows and to my left was Amatsu.
This is not really a restaurant, but a lively little café looking more like a small kiosk tucked away in the corner. The food is good, fresh and the offerings are made up of traditional dishes in the way of sushi and sashimi, as well as all the rolls. But the chef does have his specials.
I like that fact that I can sit poolside and enjoy something much more exotic than the usual poolside faire. At first it seemed kind of odd that people were in their swimwear noshing away at the succulent Japanese delights, but then I quickly took to the idea as being something out of the ordinary and I liked it—a lot.
Hotels today are trying to do each other out with better accommodations, better service and better restaurants; better everything. And since they are trying so hard to get your business, coming up with a simple idea of having a poolside sushi bar borders on genius.
Nowadays, all of these hotels are really focused on being that family resort destination. Although I think that is great, these places are now more geared to kids than they are to adults. In this scenario, those kiddies that are looking for their chicken fingers and fries can still have them, but now the adult can enjoy big people food at the same time. This concept of other food choices for adults is quite compelling and satisfies in part the need we take vacations even with our families.
Japanese restaurants, moreover, sushi bars have been trending for quite some time. There is something exotic yet comforting about Japanese food. Much like most Asian food it is quite tasty and filling and has that right combination of salty savory appeal we American love so much.
There are some of you out there that are not sushi eaters or have yet to try Japanese food. To you I say, go for it because you will love it. The concept of raw fish may seem bothersome, problematic or downright icky to some of you. Let me tell you that once you try it you will love it. Not just like it—you will love it.