Thai Rocks, Sushi Rolls

Sweet-and-sour duck was half a bird that had been chopped into pieces, then breaded and deep-fried. The duck was crisp and surprisingly meaty, garnished with sauteed bell peppers, onions, carrots, and pineapple chunks. Uncooked tomato wedges and cucumber slices were piled on top, and a sweet soy-chili sauce united the ingredients.

The evening's crowning achievement was a steamed seafood pouch. A foil bag enclosed a plethora of mussels, shrimp, sea scallops, squid, and salmon on a bed of grated fresh ginger root, shredded Napa cabbage and celery, and glass noodles. A vibrant chili-garlic-lime sauce soaked through the noodles to gently flavor the seafood above, all of which, with the exception of some slightly tough squid, was beautifully cooked.

The wine list (four vintages) includes a bit of a shocker -- Lost Horizons, a South African cabernet/merlot blend, for $16.50. We played beverages safe with sake but fooled around with conventions concerning dessert. A slice of fudgy layer cake, billed as homemade on the menu, turned out to be a bakery-supplied cake I've seen all over South Florida (the staff didn't know where it comes from). Regardless, it was a satisfying if nontraditional way to conclude this dual Asian meal.

I still don't believe this city needs any more sushi bars (even if they do also serve reasonably good Thai food), but as long as the new ones are equal to the standard Fuji Hana is setting, I guess the market -- and I -- will bear them.

Now if only someone would open up a caviar bar.

Fuji Hana
18757 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura; 932-8080. Lunch daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; dinner from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Gyoza
$4.00
Hyashi chuka
$6.50
All-meat curry
$12.95
Steamed seafood
$18.95

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