Kuro is the newly renowned Japanese restaurant located inside the AAA Four-Diamond rated Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. Opened in March 2015, the sophisticated and interactive kitchen has drawn praise for Executive Chef Alex Q. Becker’s contemporary artisanal creations, as well as mixologist Jared Boller’s handcrafted cocktails. Showcasing fresh, unique ingredients including Japanese flavors artistically created to pair harmoniously with the cuisine, Boller’s drinks are whimsical and inventive. In fact, the award-winning mixologist has just unveiled a new cocktail menu that offers a flavor adventure playing into the restaurant’s socially vibrant vibe.
The libations at Kuro are divided into categories based on the five flavor profiles: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. Using this method of classification, cocktail enthusiasts can hone in on drinks that would most appeal to their particular palate. “Taste is subjective to the individual,” says Boller, a former protégé of cocktail bar maven Julie Reiner. “Breaking down a menu by flavor makes perfect sense, because everyone knows what they like and have a preferred taste.”
Each cocktail on the menu is named in the sequence at which it was invented – in order by Japanese numbers. The new lineup includes five drinks ($13 each). For those who favor sweet concoctions, the new Kyu (9) features rum, falernum, pineapple juice, lime juice, lemongrass yellow chartreuse and basil. Sour options include Jyu (10) – Pisco, Crème de Violette, egg white, fresh lemon juice and togarashi (a Japanese chili pepper); and Jyu Ni (12) –orange juice, lemon juice, ginger, shōchū, clove and amaro. Jyu Ichi (11) highlights a bitter profile, made with pisco, pink peppercorn, star anise, Campari, pineapple and lemon. Rounding out the collection is the dramatic Kuro. With its black-hued body, the drink is named after the restaurant itself, which means “black” in Japanese. Made with two types of rum, squid ink, black sesame seeds, lime juice and pineapple, the Kuro represents Umami.
For fans of Kuro’s opening cocktail offerings, signature favorites remain. Standouts include Ni (2), a rum-based cocktail with watermelon, basil, fennel and togarashi; Roku (6) – soy, coriander, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses; and Boller’s personal favorite, Hachi (8), the Japanese four-mushroom bourbon with mirin (a sweet rice wine not unlike sake) and black pepper syrup.
As with the new-style, handcrafted cuisine, no detail goes unnoticed on the cocktail menu at Kuro; each drink’s ice selection plays a role. The restaurant employs the use of seven different types of ice, meticulously chosen based on temperature and dilution. A true student of his craft, Boller compares his use of ice to a chef’s use of a hot flame. Cocktails begin to lose the height of their flavor from the time the bartender mixes the ingredients to the time the server delivers it to the guest; but with proper ice, a drink can retain its flavor integrity for a longer period of time.
Kuro is located at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at One Seminole Way in Hollywood, Florida. Dinner is served Tuesday –Thursday and Sunday, 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Telephone: (954) 585-5333;www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com