Turning Japanese

The newly opened Etaru Hallandale brings bold tastes from the Far East.

A plate of robata beef from Etaru Hallandale.

By Nila Do Simon

Robatayaki, the Japanese version of barbecue, has been all the rage the last few years, and perhaps the most anticipated South Florida incarnation opened its doors in August. Etaru Hallandale, located inside the posh Hyde Beach Club, marries a pristine oceanfront setting with a contemporary take on charcoal-grilled meats, seafood and vegetables. The eatery is the brainchild of Rainer Becker, co-founder of the worldwide network of Zuma restaurants, whose Miami location inside the Kimpton Epic Hotel introduced South Floridians to high-end izakaya, or pub-style, cuisine. Becker’s latest South Florida endeavor is Etaru Beach Bar during the day—complete with Japanese-influenced light fare—and shifts into a pulsating restaurant and cocktail bar at night. When designing the menu, chef Hamish Brown placed heavy emphasis on robata-grilled seafood while still offering raw dish favorites, including sashimi, maki rolls and tataki. “The menu is perfect for the setting,” Brown says. “With shared plates and the open grill, it’s a fun dining experience—much like a casual dinner party at a friend’s beach house.” etarurestaurant.us