Palm Beach Illustrated February 2024

Page 160



SALT of the Earth Given his background as a professional chef, Jonathan Richards understands the importance of salt. While on a sabbatical from restaurants, the Florida native had an aha moment after watching a documentary on Japanese salt-making techniques and smoking a brisket the following weekend: he would create a locally sourced finishing salt derived from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. “From a chef’s perspective, everything starts with good ingredients,” says

ASIAN AND INDIAN AKIRA BACK This hot spot inside The Ray hotel features eclectic Korean-Japanese cuisine from Michelin-starred chef Akira Back. 233 N.E. 2nd. Ave., Delray Beach ( $$ ECHO The Asian restaurant of The Breakers offers dishes from China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam, thoughtfully conceived and brilliantly executed. 230A Sunrise Ave., Palm Beach ( $$$ INDUS INDIAN AND HERBAL CUISINE Choose from an extensive menu of traditional dishes seasoned with an abundance of Indian herbs and spices. 1649 Forum Place, West Palm Beach ( $$ JOY NOODLES Order the fresh ramen at this vegetarian-friendly hidden gem. 2200 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach ( $$ KAPOW! NOODLE BAR This Asian fusion restaurant provides late-night comfort food with a FrenchVietnamese flair, plus designer cocktails and craft beer. 519 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 402 Plaza Real, Boca Raton ( $$

Richards, who founded Palm Beach Salt Co. in May 2022. “You need good water to make good salt.” Richards tested eight locations across Palm Beach County looking for the ideal water, finally landing on a spot less than a mile from the Gulf Stream and with an offshore coral reef that helps to prefilter the water. Armed with buckets, Richards hand-harvests the water during the hour before peak high tide, when there is the greatest influx of fresh water, he explains. Then, he embarks on a 400-hour natural process to turn that raw ingredient—water—into sea salt. Everything is done by hand and is free of chemicals, dyes, and anti-caking agents. Richards describes the taste of the final product as bright, briny, and oceanic. “My salt has a very round mouthfeel,” he notes. “You get a lot of different activations on your palate … a little bit of sour, sweet, bitter, but it always finishes very clean.” Palm Beach Salt Co.’s bestsellers are the original flake salt, garlic salt, and lemon salt. Richards describes all the salts as finishing salts, though they can be used in a variety of applications. His favorite use? As the final seasoning for local fish. “You’re taking the fish out of the ocean and putting the ocean right back on the fish,” he says. “As a chef, that’s really full circle for me and the story I like to tell.” ( —M.M.

LEMONGRASS ASIAN BISTRO Presenting creative pan-Asian plates—from sushi to noodles to curry—in sleek surrounds. 1880 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach; 420 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 10312 Forest Hill Blvd. Suite 204, Wellington; 101 Plaza Real S., Boca Raton ( $$ MALAKOR THAI CAFÉ This Northwood staple offers a colorful setting in which to enjoy Thai classics such as curry and noodles as well as a wide selection of sushi. 425 25th St., West Palm Beach ( $$ NITROGEN BAR, GRILL, AND SUSHI This Jupiter outpost features a speakeasy-style bar, impeccable rolls, and innovative hot dishes. 6779 W. Indiantown Road Suite 18, Jupiter ( $$ RAMEN LAB EATERY Both the noodles and the broth are made in-house at this funky ramen joint. 25 N.E. 2nd Ave. #114, Delray Beach; 100 N.E. 2nd St., Boca Raton; 20449 State Road 7 Unit #A5, Boca Raton ( $ SUSHI JO American sushi chef Joseph Clark offers a diverse sake collection for a laid-back, cosmopolitan Japanese dining experience. 319 Belvedere Road

#112, West Palm Beach; 1800 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach; 14261 U.S. Hwy. 1, Juno Beach; 640 E. Ocean Ave. #4, Boynton Beach ( $$ SUSHI RAY JAPANESE RESTAURANT Enjoy the entertaining hibachi grill or order from the collection of sake at the onyx-lit sushi bar. 5250 Town Center Circle #111, Boca Raton ( $$ TAKI OMAKASE Featuring a sushi, nigiri, and Wagyu multicourse experience with a superb sake selection to pair. 1658 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton; 632 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach ( $$$ YAKITORI SUSHI HOUSE The same culinary team behind Coco Sushi Lounge has crafted a menu of top-notch standbys and delicious surprises. 7959 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach ( $

ECLECTIC BARCELLO With a pasta section ranging from pad thai to rigatoni, there is no doubt that Barcello’s menu is one of the most unique in Palm Beach County. 11603 U.S. Hwy. 1, North Palm Beach ( $$


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