The Sea Southeast Asian Kitchen serves up a culinary Asian panorama in Delray Beach

The Sea on Jog Road in Delray Beach, a stone’s throw from Boca Raton.

An elegant eatery in western Delray Beach appeals to diners with a menu that reaches across Asia. Diners will find Korean wings, Chinese dumplings, Peking duck, Japanese ramen, Pad Thai and sushi among the far-ranging offerings.


The name of the restaurant in the upscale strip center opposite Morikami Gardens in Delray Beach is a bit of a misnomer: The Sea Southeast Asian Kitchen & Sushi Bar.

The restaurant, one of several owned by Art Piyavichayanon and his family in South Palm Beach County, has a broad menu – not just seafood – with culinary offerings that reach across all of Asia, well beyond the vast southeast subregion that stretches from the Bay of Bengal to the Pacific Ocean. Besides the dishes of Piyavichayanon’s native Thailand, this2,586-square-foot eatery at the south end of the Shoppes at Addison Place, can take diners on a culinary journey in elegant surroundings, albeit with prices to match.

Inside, The Sea.

The Sea’s tony décor make it strikingly different from many of the area’s hole-in-the wall Asian joints (Pagoda Kitchen

excepted). Not surprising given its location, which adjoins boutique apparel stores, Henry’s Restaurant and Angelo Elia, The Sea often is busy feeding stir fries, noodles, dumplings, sushi, rice dishes and more to the well-heelded denizens of the country clubs that line Jog Road in Boca Raton south of the canal that parts Boca Raton from Delray Beach.

The Sea’s earth tone interior has a high industrial ceiling covered in white timbers (which also makes noise levels high). From the ceiling hang pendant lights and chandeliers. One wall is covered in climbing vines. There are tufted banquets and graceful drapery. The wood-topped tables, not covered, were filled one evening with boomers and some younger diners, some women notable because of their sparkly clothing. There also are numerous outdoor tables in front of the restaurant that can seat 24 diners, albeit closely spaced.

While it’s easy to call The Sea an Asian fusion restaurant, it is not. It does not blend any two cuisines but places its pan-Asian offerings on the menu together in an epicurean Asian assembly.

To be sure, there’s nothing overly exotic on the menu, which is focused on the familiar mainstays of The Sea’s Asian cuisines.

You can start with Korean wings or Chinese dumplings, go onto wonton soup or miso or Thai tom yum or tom kha soups and then continue onto Kung Pao chicken, Pad Thai, Peking duck, filet mignon Massaman curry, and other Thai curries. Also, there’s a variety of stir fries and a long list of sushi and sashimi offerings.

While you’ll find spicy Thai offerings, the kitchen will accommodate a wide range of diners’ spice tolerances. I ordered Thai dishes with a heat level of three, which proved to be too mild for my palate.

Some may not consider the food “authentic,” but the quality is high, the presentations artful and most of it quite tasty.

Sushi-Sashimi platter.

Tom Kha soup.

Tom Kha ($6.95), a spicy coconut-based Thai soup with lemongrass, mushrooms and scallions, was indeed creamy with coconut milk, and arrived with three firm, fair-sized shrimp.

Crispy duck ($28.95), an entrée, was tender and arrived coated with a sweet and sour sauce that lived up to its name.

Pad Si Ew.

Peking duck

On the other hand, Peking duck ($32.95), ordered 30 minutes in advance on a separate occasion, was a dry rendition of the Chinese bird.

My daughter’s Chicken Pad Si Ew ($15.95), a traditional Thai rice noodle dish with bits of eggs, peanuts and vegetables, was nicely flavored, though a tad sweet, and would have benefited from less bean sprouts and more noodles.

Crispy duck in sweet and sour sauce.

Red curry with shrimp.

A serving of Red Curry with chicken ($15.95) easily could have fed three, but at a spice level of 3 it needed a boost. Not an issue.  Our server, Nin, without asking, delivered a small dish of ground hot chilies.

A combination platter of sushi and sashimi ($41.95) resembled an artist’s palate overflowing with a dozen pieces of different fresh sashimi (raw fish without rice), six pieces of nigiri sushi – small balls of rice topped with raw fish – and a spicy tuna roll. Good knife skills were evident with the slices thin and neatly cut. The fishy smelling sliced bonito, among the offerings, was not among my favorites, and the spicy tuna roll was a tad mushy, but better than many I’ve had elsewhere. On the platter was a generous helping of white pickled ginger, a plus, since pink ginger gets its coloring from a dye.

To wash it all down, there’s a long list of sakes to choose from. Alas, my selection one night was out of stock, so I made do with a bottle of the slightly dry, slightly sweet and light Hakusuru Draft Junmai Sake ($14). It was the perfect accompaniment to my sushi-sashimi order. Thai iced tea ($5.95), perhaps my favorite beverage with spicy Thai fare, was overly sweet.

Owner Piyavichayanon opened The Sea in 2014 in a space that formerly housed Cucina Mia, an Italian restaurant. His Urban Belly Restaurant Group owns a variety of mostly Asian eateries, including Ganzo Sushi in the Delray Marketplace, Lemongrass Asian Bistro in Wellington, Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach, Ramen Lab Eatery’s four locations, and The Eat District in Boca.

Despite its appearance and pricing as a fine dining establishment, I’d quibble over the use of paper napkins and disposable chop sticks. And we did not get to see the restaurant’s  highly publicized robotic food runner, Bella, in action, as it was parked quietly in back.

Service, meanwhile, was uneven. Human servers are mostly attentive. Ninlawan, our server on one visit was friendly, helpful and seemingly always around to refill a glass of water. When my daughter complained about the mosquitos feasting on us while we dined outside, our busser presented us with a bottle of DEET. A nice gesture, to say the least. On another evening when we dined inside, our server, Nina, was obviously over-taxed and had to be sought out a few times.

The Sea Southeast Asian Kitchen, while not perfect, offers the opportunity to take a tasteful, albeit pricy, culinary journey across Asia in a stylish atmosphere.

The Sea Southeast Asian Kitchen

16950 Jog Rd. Suite 101, Delray Beach, FL 3344 



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