Before there was the internet, Sushi Rock was the defacto place to go in Fort Lauderdale for sushi. It doesn't look like much from the street; in fact it looks pretty bad. I'm not big on sushi; paying twice as much for fish that is sliced and not cooked makes little sense to me, but once in a while it's good for a change.
One of the reasons I don't review too many asian places is that I hate dining in Asian restaurants. They're usually uncomfortable and some of them are downright creepy, and cheerful service doesn't seem to be part of the culture. Sushi Rock isn't one of the creepy ones, but it is one that provides a wholly sub-par experience.
There's a long Sushi Bar and a row of tables. It's a pretty small place and I think it would be uncomfortable with all seats occupied.
Sushi Rock Interior
The place is dark with purple light, much like Black Light for you non-kiddies. Luckily they didn't have any florescent posters. I got the menu and saw that the lunch menu is on ly served until 2:30; considering that Sushi Rock has no web site or online presence at all there was no way on knowing this. "No more Lunch", I asked. "No, end at 2:30". There's never any flexibility in Asian restaurants. Great, so I have to order from the dinner menu at 2:45pm.
While getting a bit more food for a few extra dollars wasn't a big issue, what was an issue was that they didn't have the same kind of combos on the regular menu. Or at least I didn't see them. I ended up getting the Usuzukuri; you can select 2 types of fish; I went with tuna and snapper. "Soup or Salad" she snapped. "Does it come with that?". It doesn't say so on the menu. The only soup choice is Miso, so I took the salad.
Iced tea was delivered without fruit and they don't have splenda. I flagged her down and asked for lemon. Not a word; she soon returned with a dish of limes. How about "we don't have lemon, how about some lime?" Ok, nevermind, the lime would be good for the sashimi as they never give you enough.
I didn't notice the salad on the menu, since I didn't know it was included; Ginger dressing is far, far from my favorite. In fact it's kind of scary looking to me.
Sushi Rock Garden Salad
Yuck. Ok, I didn't really expect the salad anyway. A bad tomato, one unpeeled cucumber slice with iceberg lettuce. They really can't have oil and vinegar or some italian dressing for people who don't like this slop? I opened the napkin with the chopsticks but there was no fork inside. I'm not skilled enough with chopsticks to eat a salad. So I had to wait to get a fork. No knife, so I couldn't cut it.
I pushed off as much dressing as I could and nibbled while I waited. Something that was painfully obvious was that the restaurant is badly misnamed. They have dishes named after recording artists; someone please tell them that the Beastie Boys and Slim Shady don't play Rock and Roll. The music is painful; Bruce Hornsby, Fun, The Weather Girls followed by a scary re-make of "Go Your Own Way" by Wilson Philips.
When the Sashimi came out, it was more than I expected.
Sushi Rock Usuzukuri and ponzu sauce
Usuzukuri is very thin sliced sashimi. No Gari or wasabi paste or seaweed; amateur sushi eaters like me kind of expect that stuff. The sashimi itself was excellent quality, but the ponzu was boring and tasted like diluted soy sauce more than anything else. Not tart or spicy and with no citrus taste. A very weak offering. Luckily I had the line left over. Lime and Soy was better than the sauce.
Like most Asian places, the experience just left a bad taste in my mouth. Inflexible policies, charging $3 for iced tea but cheaping out by not providing Splenda, bad salad and soup choices, no explanation of the specials. And ponzu sauce that was slapped together in 10 seconds that made what could have been special very average.