Kaluz Restaurant

Last Activity: Apr 8th, 2015

kaluz

Kaluz Restaurant Fort Lauderdale

Location

3300 E Commercial Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
954 772-2209
What's Nearby

Critic's Rating

Rating2.5
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review: 08/08/13

Information

Hours5pm-10pm M-F, open to 12am on Fri/Sat
Dress CodeCasual ParkingValet Only, Public Lot
CCYes AlcoholFull Bar
OutdoorYes ReservationsYes
DeliveryNo

Pros

Prime Waterfront Location
New, Modern Decor

Cons

Valet only Parking
Pedestrian Menu

Critic's Review

Kaluz has raised all of their prices because, well you know with all of the bad reviews, it makes sense. $39 for a choice "NY Strip". Treat yourself to bad food at the highest prices in town.

Review 8/8/13

I figured it was time to give Kaluz another try; I've been monitoring their web site to see if they were making any changes to the menu, but it looks like they're sticking with the same bad menu that they started with. I didn't feel like fast food and the number of nice, sit down restaurants in town are sparse in the summer.

They still have the entire restaurant lot marked off as "Valet only", which many restaurants don't do at lunch time. Luckily there was parking in the public lot so I didn't have to lug my camera and iPad into the restaurant. The most puzzling (and annoying) thing was that there was no valet; nobody manning the stand, nobody inside. Nobody there on my way out either.

Kaluz Restaurant Entrance

Kaluz Restaurant Entrance

But, it's a very nice entrance. My first time here I was shoveled into the bar and didn't even see the outside space. They have a patio and outside bar but I just don't find such things appealing when its 92 degrees out. It's great for parking your mega-yacht however.

Kaluz Patio

Kaluz Patio

I got a mini-booth and ordered iced tea with extra lemon; the glasses here aren't conducive to extra lemon. Served on a swizzle stick, it's very fancy.

Kaluz Iced Tea

Kaluz Iced Tea

>

They have a token lunch menu with some ridiculously priced items; everything else is dinner priced at lunch time. Their menu isn't exactly the same; they've added prime rib to the menu for $29; $4 more than I paid for it when they opened.

Lunch does come with bread.

Kaluz Bread

Kaluz Bread

The bread was decent, and it comes with nice soft butter. This menu totally doesn't appeal to me; you have to get a half chicken if you want a wedge salad, but I figured I could take half of the chicken home.

Service was fine, although the mix of employees here is a bit odd. A hostess that seemed wholly disinterested and the kind of bartenders you find in LBTS. They play cool jazz; think Boo Boo's birthday and the John Coltrane Sextet. Any hope I had of taking some chicken home ended when the food arrived.

Kaluz Half Chicken and Wedge Salad

Kaluz Half Chicken and Wedge Salad

A mini-wedge paired with a mini chicken. Fantastic. I was thinking cornish hen. Maybe a bit bigger than that. The chicken was fine; au jus seems silly with a rotisserie chicken, but the salad was a loser. The salad comes with "bacon lardons", which would be fine if they were crisp; these weren't cooked enough, and they were sweet; sweet chewy pork. Yum. The chopped tomatoes weren't ripe and the dressing was watery with chunks of cheese that wasn't quite Blue yet. But worst of all, the lettuce wasn't fresh. Why would a restaurant like this serve such a small "wedge" of old, browning lettuce?

Kaluz limp, brown lettuce

Kaluz limp, brown lettuce

My first impression of Kaluz was exactly right; I'm getting pretty good at being able to tell how good a place will be from a very limited sample. This is an overpriced restaurant run be people who don't know how to cook and who don't care what they serve you. Enjoy the view.

Review 2/18/13

Kaluz is that new restaurant they've been building where the old Roadhouse used to be; or Stan's back in the day if you've been around here longer than I have. Their original application has it as the Kansas Grill and Bar; which is the same name as restaurants the owners run in Argentina. Then it morphed into Kaluz Grill and Bar (no word on what Kaluz means), and it looks like they finally settled on Kaluz Restaurant.

They have a pretty good sized parking lot; of course the entire thing is valet only. I've had a bad feeling about these folks since day 1, and the forced valet is a bad first start. You can park in the public lot just east of the place; all of the servers apparently have to park there because at just before 5 there were swarms of people in black and burnt orange outfits heading towards the restaurant.

It's been pointed out to me that "every other" waterfront restaurant on the intracoastal is also valet only, so it's somehow not valid to complain that this restaurant is valet only. It's a complimentary valet; the only good reason to make a large parking lot valet only is if the owner's son or nephew is the valet. If they cared about their customers and weren't trying to create a job, they'd allocate part of the lot for valet. I don't like other people driving my car; and I know that there are other people who feel the same way. I also don't like to have to take my valuables into the restaurant with me.>

It's certainly a handsome place; better than the old broken down building it's been for years.

Kaluz Fort Lauderdale

Kaluz Fort Lauderdale

My first impression was that it's a lot smaller than I expected. There's a smallish bar in the center, hardly any waiting area and tables along the big window and to the side; the entire northern side of the restaurant is a big, open kitchen enclosed in glass.

Kaluz Bar Area

Kaluz Bar Area

There's a lot of glass in the place. While open kitchens are cool, the server stations are also in full view (and you're in full view to them also); creating a void of privacy for both diners and the help.

Kaluz Open Kitchen

Kaluz Open Kitchen

The view is nice, if you land a table in the back.

Kaluz View

Kaluz View

>

Frankly, as a waterfront restaurant the place is a disappointment; I avoided going the past few nights because of the cold weather, but this is an indoor restaurant. There's dockage, but this is nothing like Shooters in that there isn't very much outside space and it's not open air. The glass just makes the waterfront like a pretty picture, rather than having the feel of waterfront dining. Any idea that this place was going to be some waterfront hotspot can be dispensed with; this is just a restaurant with a nice view. There are no TVs and no music inside.

I didn't intend to eat a meal, but I didn't anticipate that there would be no seats at the bar at 5:30 on a Monday. So I figured I'd grab a table and have an appetizer or a salad.

They have a pretty good wine by the glass list, but I still had work to do so no drinking yet for me. The menu is weak; any place with asian calamari, asian chicken lolipops and coconut shrimp as half of the appetizer menu is destined to be compared to Big City Tavern. The obligatory $14 burger and $10 ceasar are joined by a $14 Lobster Bisque. This menu serves as both lunch and dinner; they're not going to steal any business from Blue Moon with these prices at lunch. A wedge salad caught my eye, but it comes with 1/2 chicken for $16. Not exactly what I had in mind.

A server had read the specials; Mahi and Prime Rib; nothing special going on here; I made a particular note that she mentioned the prices; $24 for both. I'm a stickler about that; remember this.

I wasn't going to have an entree, but none of the apps or salads interested me, so I ordered the prime rib. It only took about 5 minutes to come out.

Kaluz Prime Rib

Kaluz Prime Rib

It looked like they'd lopped it off with a machete or something, and bah, a big load of potatoes. Parmesan Mash they call it; they're really smashed potatoes; VERY lumpy. The potatoes were actually pretty good; I would have liked them a lot better if they were whipped or mashed better.

The prime rib was a garbage cut; too lean, tough with a lot of sinew. The only bit of flavor was the very edge; you can tell by looking at it that they didn't brown it properly. And no horseradish sauce. I can usually mask a too dry or too lean prime rib with some creamy horseradish sauce, but there's none of that here.

To top off the experience, when the bill arrived they charged $25 for the prime rib. Anyone who read my rant on this subject knows how I feel about it. I explicitly remember the price; I wouldn't have ordered it if I didn't know the price in advance. The server ended up removing the iced tea instead of adjusting the price; still, $24 for lousy prime rib is no bargain.

They've finally posted a menu and we have it here.

Another rich guy opens a beautiful restaurant with boring, mediocre food in Fort Lauderdale. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Related Articles

Texas Roadhouse 3241 Sw 160Th Ave. Miramar FL, 33027 (06/28/2015)

Showing 37 Comments

Comment Policy Add Comment
Blue Moon and Kaluz pass for good restaurants in an area where JoJos Tacos can pass for a restaurant.
AdministratorReply
101 Ocean comes to mind also.
AdministratorReply
Latest menu is up. "Cajun dusted pulled chicken flatbread". You can't make this stuff up.
People who are paying these prices are nuts.
JohnReply
You saved me a couple of hundred dollars because I was going to eat here a few times but balked after reading both reviews. I really wanted Kaluz to be great because Blue Moon is lame and Benihana is not a real option for me but alas Commercial Blvd remains mostly a wasteland.
MayerReply
I really have no idea what these people are thinking... They invest millions to build a big restaurant on the water --- then they can't even hire a decent chef or have some basic quality control. The view is nice but that can't make up for the inconsistent (low quality) food and service. They seem completely lost -- I check their Facebook once in a while and most of their weekly "specials" are just a bunch of stuff stacked up into a big pile -- start with mashed potatoes, stack fish on top, vegetables on top, then tortilla strips on top... and we're done. Really its quite sad.
AdministratorReply
Blame it all on Big City Tavern. They created the model. Build a big, beautiful restaurant, charge the highest prices in town, and fill the place with people who are so happy to be in a nice restaurant that they'll pay any price regardless of the value or quality.

I'm always amazed by brown lettuce. Usually you shred the wilted stuff and toss the brown stuff. What's a head of iceberg wholesale? 90 cents?
JohndReply
I have eaten there 3 times, first about four days after they opened and again about three weeks later and then about t weeks later. I have a very good calamari, enjoyed the fish and salad, good flat bread. Service was just ok the first time but considering they just opened I was not un pleased, it was good the next 2 times.
I like there wine list and wines by the glass and over all felt the prices were good. Going there tonight will report in after
WannabegoodReply
I'm thankful for the review and the comments below which will save me money and disappointment. I went to the old Roadhouse Grill ONCE and for about the same reasons the reviewer's food and price were poor. I've been waiting for years for a new place, but alas... What I REALLY want is the old Stan's back. My wife and I would go 2-3 times a month around cocktail hour and when we stayed for dinner, it was always solid for quality and price ...alas
RitaReply
We were excited to try this new restaurant, what a disappointment! Myself and the three others I were with walked away feeling we were overcharged for mediocre food which arrived cold and soggy. I had ordered the salmon and felt the string beans were too hard and had an awful flavor to them. The rice which accompanied this dish was pedestrian at best (think boxed rice with dried peas and carrots). The Caesar salad dressing had no real flavor and the Kaluz salad was some iceberg lettuce, carrots and tomato. My husband ordered a steak sandwich which was cold, the coleslaw on top was watery which made the sandwich mushy and moist. Unless they have a major overhaul, I will not be back...too bad, I was looking forward to it.
BeachgalReply
i'm not sure how Houston's does it in Pompano but it's always packed and definitely has the waterfront element. How hard is this? This restaurant just isn't using the space properly. What a waste. Drove by it the other day and do agree it will be out in 9 months.
AnaBReply
Houston's is extremely consistent, although predictable -- which is sometimes a good thing. Kaluz is still a mess, service is very confused and food very inconsistent. Maybe they will get it together eventually.
AdministratorReply
Houston's has somehow established themselves as fine dining for the common man; I personally think they're overpriced. I prefer J Alexanders in that Genre.
AdministratorReply
They own the property, I believe, so I doubt they'll be out. They may adjust. But to me, it's Blue Moon without the discounts, and I've never paid full price at Blue Moon.
JohnReply
They do own the property---reportedly at about 8 million!!!

They had to spend $ 2 million on building-repairs so they may be invested at upwards of $ 10 million total.

I don't see how they can last with crappy food and high prices---maybe they have a lot of Argentinian silver to waste?
AdministratorReply
They paid $5.5M for the property, so the $8M probably includes the construction. Seems like an awful lot considering that Shooters sold for $5.3M with 2 restaurants and more property. Bokampers paid $3.35M for a smaller plot but in a better location.
AdministratorReply
This town is full of restaurants that have survived with overpriced, crappy food. Until a couple of good restaurants open, the trend will continue. Yolo, Big City Tavern, Ernies BBQ, Chuck's. Bravo. Bimino Boatyard.
KatrincaReply
It was okay - the cocktails leave a lot to be desired. The bartender didn't seem to happy when we ordered a bottle of wine that required that they get the ladder out to get it (note : bitching in front of the customers is not good practice but it made great entertainment for us). They have only been open a week and the staff still don't have the table layout memorize - reoccuring mutterings of "where is 32, where is 22...." could be heard when the runners were picking up items at the bar - I think our cocktails did 2 full laps of the bar before they figure out were our table was. Great entertainment. A real plus is that the suggested tip on the receipt was before tax which is such a change from the standard where they suggest you to tip them on the tax.
HeyBridgeTenderReply
Cold prime rib, cold and soggy calamari, no happy hour. Blue Moon Fish sounds better and better.
A good food critic always gives a place a few weeks to iron out the kinks. Maybe you should try that. I ate at Kaluz the first week (I'm not a food critic) and thought the food was good.
AdministratorReply
That's a load of BS. They're charging full prices, aren't they? Are they providing discounts or free samples? If not, then they're open for business and they're open to full criticism. Besides, the issues here aren't kinks; they're not going to develop culinary prowess in a "few weeks". It's a cookie cutter menu and it will never be any kind of waterfront "hot spot". That's the news.
ValleydiReply
The exterior from Commercial looks inviting. The view from the water via boat also looks inviting. We will definitely give it a try. What's with the little detached area from the water view? Cigar bar ? Can't wait to give it a try.
AdministratorReply
Yeah, a cigar bar is a good way to drive away 3/4 of your potential customers. Maybe its a fountain? Their restaurants in Argentina have fountains out front.
JohnReply

Who wants to bet this place has a new owner within 9 months? 258 upscale seats? Good luck. Everyone wants to mention Stan's which has been gone for 30 years----it was a dumpy Roadhouse Grill for years.
Commercial Blvd aint Las Olas folks!!!
Wrong JohnReply
OK, so it looks like I'm wrong and they will make it 9 months (DEEP POCKETS!)

Any word on how they're doing?
AdministratorReply
No idea. But you have to check out the picture on their facebook page. That is one scary looking stack.
ConradReply
You are soooooooooooo right.My brother was the kitchen manager when it was Roadhouse.He went
through 3 remodels in 10 years.The rats were so big they used to grab baked potatoes of the service line.
Hope it makes it but most likley it will go down in an expensive ball of flames
AdministratorReply
Blue moon does well with bad food, and so does Benihana. If it's a nice place and it's not outrageously priced, it could grab a lot of the LBTS crowd. Would you rather spend $18 for a salad at 101 Ocean or eat on the water?
JohnReply
The LBTS "crowd" is not that upscale. I don't eat at 101 Ocean because you turned me on to Edelweiss and other spots. I agree that Blue Moon does well with average to poor food, and Benihana is kinda a show so I don't know how well of a comparison they are. Can you check out Brothers Tucker in Pompano at AiA and Atlantic? Also saw a new Mexican joint---Azteca---opening at Commercial and A1A. Enjoy your reports--Thanks.
SteFReply
I've been to brother tucker. I was not impressed
AdministratorReply
I have zero interest in Brothers Tucker. Azteca is a "fresh" Mexican Grill. Boy, do we need another one of those. This town is crying for a decent waterfront restaurant. I have no hope for Shooters. What a disaster that place is.
i'm looking forward to the opening. i hope the bar is as nice as the rendering, should be fun
DawnReply
Will there be entertainment such dancing? Like Stans had....

When will the grand opening be?
There really aren't any upscale restaurants with dancing anymore... maybe goto Copacabana before they close... but thats it?
AdministratorReply
Nobody knows. There's no info on the place.
I hope it's an upscale place. That location is a great spot and we've needed something nice there since Stan's left.
AdministratorReply
The sign on the fence is IddI, which is one of the highest end designers. They're also doing Grill 401 in the old Rare Location. One thing for certain; it's going to be a fancy place.