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Entries Tagged as 'Japanese Cuisine'

Blue Fin – Duluth

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Hi. Sorry for the absence. I’ve been lazy. I’m over at Instagram a lot these days. I like that it’s easier to interact with everyone. So if you don’t find me here go catch me over there: @chowdownatlanta

This was my quick lunch today.

ATL Food History Lesson: When I was in middle school there was this only Izakaya in Atlanta on Peachtree Industrial. It was called Sakana-Ya. I grew up eating Friday night dinners there because my mom was a big fan of their Zohsui. They had a traditional binchotan robata. It was the most awesome Japanese joint in ATL. Unfortunately, mismanagement led to its demise 5 years ago. The sushi chefs there opened their own place right after, which is this one. It’s where Taka and other sushi chefs go to eat. They have an awesome shoyu ramen here and a fantastic pork donburi. Neither of which I didn’t want to eat today.

Blue Fin Sushi
2863 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Duluth, GA 30097
(770) 232-5004
Closed on Mondays


Tomo

Seems like the only times I’ve ever really been here is when awesome friends take me for my birthday. To me, Tomo is a special occasion only place — it’s pricey and fancy. I could very well have my fill of stellar Japanese for a tenth of what I’d pay here somewhere else. The first time I was taken here, at the old location, our meal literally cost an arm and a leg. Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s actually worth every penny spent considering the dining experience you get for it. Not to mention the quality of the ingredients and the inventiveness of the dishes. Did I mention all the dishes come out so pretty? But like I said, it’s not a place I can just go to every week.

The other day, my very good friend TeeVee took me here for a belated birthday lunch. He’s been trying to get me to eat here since Tomo moved to its posh digs but I kept telling him that it was too pricey and for me to get full, I’d have to order for two or three people. Which is really the case everywhere I go anyway. But I was assured it was very affordable so off we went. Would you believe– he was right! Of course, I had to get two lunches to get full but a regular person would be content with one. It was also very surprising that dishes average $12!!! In Buckhead? At Tomo? YES.

Tomo

They have this huge bowl of udon for $8.50. That’s a steal considering this is Buckhead, this is the Residences at the Ritz, and this is Tomo. The bowl is HUGE. Bigger than I’ve seen anywhere in Atlanta. It was hearty with tons of veggies, plenty of udon, two plump shrimp tempura, and a lot of hot, tasty broth.

Tomo

While most everyone can be content with this big bowl of soup, I have to add another lunch order to get my fill. But, that’s just me. So I got the Chirashi bowl that was oozing with fresh sashimi: tuna, salmon, yellowtail, crab, and tamago. The sushi rice is perfection, slightly warm, sweetish and at the same time vinegary. Heaven in a bowl. Price tag? $15. With miso soup and side salad included. We’re talking about a good sized serving, too. This is the best deal on the menu because we’re talking about Tomo quality.

Tomo

My friend TeeVee got two entrees, too! What can I say, this is how we roll. His soft shell crab salad was another big serving. Lots of greens and perfectly battered and golden-fried soft shell crab.

Tomo

Tomo

Bento boxes at $12 are a fantastic option if you want to have a sampling of tastes and textures. It comes with a roll, choice of meat, salad, noodles and either sushi or sashimi.

Tomo

I’m not a big dessert person but let me tell you, the desserts here are top notch. Think of 5-star hotel desserts. We had these tiny chocolate squares (called Chocolate Cube) that were just decadent. They were literally tiny, about an inch square and less than an inch thick. They were soft and chewy and tasted like dark chocolate truffles laced with Hennessy cognac. The alcohol is strong with this one. You all know by now I don’t drink so this teeny bite of indulgence got me really light headed, really fast.

Tomo

The Warm Bread Pudding will definitely knock your socks off. It’s bread pudding but with the consistency of a flan. OMG is all I can say. So sublime. So delectable.

Although dinner is another story — when they have spectacular (read: pricey) Japanese fare Tomo style, of course; plus substantial bites from assistant chef Nick Anderson that includes pork belly– this if a fantastic lunch place for where it is and what you get. One-of-a-kind lunch specials available daily.

I should have had you at… Tomo. GO. Right now.

Menu here.

Tomo Japanese Restaurant
3630 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 835-2708

Tomo Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Miso want Ramen

Miso Lunch Ramen

You so want ramen, too? Well here’s your chance to sample Chef Guy Wong’s famous 36-hour soup. This prequel to Miso Izakaya’s ramen lunch service, a collaboration with Chef Mihoko Obunai, is a one night event that may never happen again. One night. Think steaming bowls of ramen made with love.

Where: Miso Izakaya
When: Tuesday, September 11th
How: Until the soup runs out

By the way, don’t miss Mihoko’s appearance on Chopped on the same night.

Don’t be lazy about it. Mark your calendars and GO.

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Extreme Teriyaki Grill Express

Extreme Teriyaki (Duluth)

In every mall food court, you’ll see a Japanese stall featuring hibachi dishes. Dishes stir-fried in a hibachi grill then doused with teriyaki sauce. I know you know what I’m talking about. I grew up eating those, too.

Extreme Teriyaki (Duluth)

On the very end of Pleasant Hill Rd. in north Duluth, there’s one such hibachi joint. Except it’s not in a mall food court. It’s in a strip plaza. Opened just a couple of weeks ago, it’s just like those you see inside the mall. But nicer.

Extreme Teriyaki (Duluth)

I’m also happy to report that the food is better. The teriyaki sauce, though a bit floury in taste, is mild and quite tasty. Not the thick syrupy, cloyingly sweet version you see at the mall. Chicken and beef teriyaki rule here. If you want tender. stewed-like meat, then get the beef. But if you, like me, enjoy stir-fried meats with crispy edges, then chicken is it for you. Both are equally good and comes with a medley of steamed veggies. Another good thing to note is that they use good quality Japanese rice!

Extreme Teriyaki (Duluth)

Best of all, they have mall prices! Chicken will set you back a mere $4.99 with portions twice as much as the malls. Beef costs a few more for $6.29. You can mix and match any meat or get three kinds if you want. There are also sushi rolls on the menu and all sorts of teriyaki salads. Current special gets you a Chicken Teriyaki plate for $2.99 with a purchase of any teriyaki plate. Now that’s a deal.

A great addition to the neighborhood for quick, no fuss, cheap but flavorful eats.

*Note: The address says Peachtree Industrial Blvd but the physical location is facing Pleasant Hill Rd. (inside the Kroger plaza)

Extreme Teriyaki Grill Express
3455 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. (the actual store front faces Pleasant Hill Rd.)
Suite 230
Duluth, GA 30096
678-682-8888

Extreme Teriyaki Grill Express on Urbanspoon

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(The New) Miso Izakaya

Bon Appétit: Top 6 Izakayas in North America
Knife & Fork: Best of 2010
Creative Loafing: Hamburg Bun (100 Dishes To Eat In Atlanta Before You Die)

Miso Izakaya
from Atlanta Magazine, June 2011

Accolades plus my death row meal, the best onigiri, buns, and ramen and you’ve got this amazing, no-longer-unknown izakaya sensation in Inman Park. Miso is definitely one of my most favorite restaurants.

Izakaya. This term has evolved and no longer just encompasses sake houses serving yakitori. These days, Japanese izakayas tend to refer to places that serve great food (small plates and snacks) and great drinks (sake and shochu). They do all that at Miso. Plus more. Incidentally, did you know Miso has the largest selection of shochu in Atlanta? The LARGEST.

Aside from being a chef-driven restaurant, what sets Miso apart from the rest is its use of local and seasonal ingredients. Chef Guy Wong hits a couple of farmer’s markets each morning to acquire the day’s ingredients. A two-man team in the kitchen, he and sous chef Melissa Allen go in early every single day to prep the ingredients and get a head start on braising meats. Every single dish that comes out of the kitchen passes through those two sets of hands. Labor of love. Oh and the staff. They treat you like family (shout out to Dyna, Will, and Hong). They’ve all been there since Miso opened.

I get great pleasure from reading menus the same way people do with books and magazines. Today, Miso unveils its new menu. It’s something I’ve read so many times, imagining the dishes in my head and the flavors in my mouth. With an obscene amount of visits under my belt (I have late classes in grad school next door and its proximity is so convenient for late dinners), it’s no accident that some of those visits happen when Chef Guy Wong is experimenting in his kitchen. My good friends and I — regulars at Miso — have been lucky enough to taste some of those experiments.

Pork Kimchi Fried Rice @ Miso

Pork Kimchi Fried Rice @ Miso Pork Kimchi Fried Rice @ Miso Pork Kimchi Fried Rice @ Miso

The Pork Kimchi Rice. To. Die. For. Before Chef Guy made this mind-blowing dish, I used to take his Pork Kimchi dish and mix it with a side order of steamed rice. I call it Kimchi White Rice and I do this everywhere fried rice isn’t served. Imagine my surprise when one day, a $9 bowl of Pork Kimchi Fried Rice appeared before me. It was the best thing I have ever eaten this year. Phenomenal is an understatement. My sister insisted getting an order to go. And my good friend Thom, lucky enough to taste clone number 3 (with another good friend GT), gushed all over Twitter and Facebook, even adding, “I would pay twice as much as Chef Guy is charging me for this right now.” Think kimchi laced with tasty morsels of pork married into fried rice then topped with a fried egg. It’s a match made in heaven. And crazy good.

Fried Green tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes. You know how frustrating it is to eat this because the breading falls off the tomatoes every single time, in every single bite, at every single place on earth? Well, not here. Chef Guy and Chef Melissa were able to figure out how to glue the coating to the tomatoes. Not only is it ingenious, it is amazing. The tartness of the tomatoes is tempered by the the side of karashi cream (Japanese mustard).

Katsu Curry Japaghetti

Katsu Curry Japaghetti. I have this ongoing battle for mayorship with my very good friend Troy, who stole the mayorship from me, and whom I’ve had many dinners with at Miso (we have 22 24 combined visits, by the way). During one of those dinners, we were lucky enough to try the Japaghetti. How was it? In Troy’s own words, “This is the BEST *bleep* curry I’ve ever had in my life!!!” But don’t take his word for it. Take mine :) I’ve noticed that tonkatsu in all places in Atlanta are usually bland; with the dipping sauce acting as the flavoring agent. The MI katsu isn’t like that. The tender, juicy Riverview pork tenderloin cutlet is flavorful on its own and coated in flavorful, crunchy batter. Double flavorful. But wait. It’s the curry that will blow you away. Peppered with fork-tender bites of beef and simmered for over 8 hours, it is thick yet smooth and velvety. The flavor is bold but not offensive. Savory and delicious. The chuka soba noodles provide more textural backdrop to the meat and curry. YUM.

Fried Camembert

Fried Camembert Cheese. Clothed in thin tempura batter then fried golden. Nothing beats the crunchy exterior and gooey, soft cheese inside. Forget ho-hum mozzarella sticks. This is the wave of the future.

Blue Crab Noodle

Crab Noodle. If you love crabs like I do then you would love this dish. Fresh blue crabs from that morning’s farmer’s market find are steamed, flaked, then stir-fried with eggs. Think fried rice except with soba. The crabs and egg stick to the noodles. Served on a bed of crisp lettuce and topped with a few sprigs of cilantro. Squeeze a few drops of lime, stir, eat. The taste of crab is evident but not overpowering. Unbelievable. So delicious.

my Mizo Izakaya collection

I’ve had practically everything on the old menu. Everything here is fantastic. Most of my favorites are making a repeat appearance on the new menu so be sure to try them all: buns, onigiri, gyoza, shoyu tomago… And you can thank me later :)

Miso Izakaya
619 Edgewood Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
(678) 701-0128
Closed on Sundays
Dinner every night from 5:30pm
Late night dining: Every night except Mondays from 10PM-Midnight

Miso Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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