8:40pm FLL airport arrival: Where to drive (Miami possible) and eat with these desires...
Yes, Tuesday, 8:40pm landing at FLL. Will quickly get rental car and ready to drive in any direction for dinner, preferring not to get too "deep" into Miami if going south. (Miami Beach feels like a chore, but convince me if you disagree.) Desires include, whenever possible: non-chain, unique, ethnic influences, offal-friendly, chef's counter, non-pretentious, not-too-expensive, alcohol not a factor.
Since you are going to be near downtown FLL, I would make the shorter drive to Las Olas and go to Johnny V's. I hadn't been there for a couple of years but went last week and REALLY enjoyed it. Lots of local seafood and produce are incorporated into the menu, and better still they are doing a $35 4-course dinner until November 7 (boat show weekend excluded - check their website for details on your arrival date).
Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Please keep them coming! My post was next to the Hot and Soul post for a while, so I'm actually considering that place. (As much as I love Japanese food, I'm coming from an area with a ton of it, so that's a little less tempting--but possible.)
Doh! I totally missed that you were flying into FLL and was thinking of places near MIA. My favorite late night option up here is always Marumi Sushi. I have run into quite a few high profile chefs and musicians in here after midnight. Great menu, great service, and a welcoming atmosphere.
Given the considerations you describe, Yakko-San sounds like your best bet. It's in North Miami Beach so not too far from FLL, open late, non-chain, Japanese izakaya, somewhat offal-friendly (the chicken livers with bean sprouts & chives is one of my favorite dishes, also available with chicken gizzards), big bar around the sushi counter & open kitchen, not pretentious and not too expensive.
I don't think Blue Collar is doing the late night thing any more.
I have little to no personal experience with most of these places but chowfather knows his food and recommends these places. If I wasn't so lazy, I would have visited them all..
http://www.yakko-san.com/ -- which I have been to and recommend as well
I would add Dona Raquel and Romantico in pompano beach. There is one dish at Romantico that is exquisite - they have a linguine cooked in a parmesan wheel, please do not order it with shrimp or chicken if you go here and get this dish, get it plain. The rest of the food there is good too.
My wife and I are fond of The River Seafood & Oyster Bar. They are open until 10:30 and the appetizer and / or bar menu could keep us quite happy for a dinner at that hour.
Yakko-San would definitely meet your request for "unique" and "offal-friendly" and is known for it's late night dining!
Last but not least Blue Collar has a very interesting late menu. This is one place that makes me wish we lived closer to Miami...it has become a favorite!