I find it so laughable when people refer to themselves as a “sushi guru” — seriously, if you have not been to Japan at least 5 times to eat real sushi (including for breakfast) with at least one visit to Osaka or Kyoto then you cannot and should never call yourselves that, okay? Oh, and even if you have, eating sushi from the supermarket, train station, or ball park doesn’t count. Ever.
I had absolutely no expectations when a group of us 13 girls came in for dinner one busy Saturday night. The reason being, I prefer authentic sushi from traditional sushi joints. RA Sushi clearly doesn’t qualify but we wanted to have a fun girls’ night out at a trendier place with at least good cocktails and decent food. With those pretty low standards and expectations of good food out of the way, I knew it was going to be nothing but a fun night.
While all the other girls got different kinds of rolls, dinner selections for me and my sister included the sashimi plates, eel hosamaki, and uni gunkanmaki (our absolute favorite). We really don’t care much for bastardized rolls geared for the American palate which are often doused, drizzled, laced, and topped with fruit, mayo, sauces, cream cheese, and such. Anyway, here’s the kicker: the sashimi was absolutely exceptional!!! (Notice the triple exclamation points?) I love it when a place proves me wrong and I was totally blown away by the sashimi here. The fish were of the perfect temperature and the slices were done right. The most surprising thing was the quality. I could not believe how superb the quality of the fish were — first, the tuna wasn’t just regular tuna but the pricier and higher caliber chutoro. Each slice was so fresh, buttery, and literally melted in your mouth. The yellowtail, salmon, and whitefish were of equal grade and without the sinewy, stringy flesh common in cheaper cuts. The octopus were also a delight, tender, and not chewy at all. Sashimi is all about texture because, face it, raw fish should not taste like anything. You can control how much flavor you want to add with the shiso, soy sauce, wasabi, and daikon. I just wished they used fresh wasabi for the price point that they have. Surprisingly, however, the sashimi was outstanding for a place like this with so much bad rep and preconceived bias, mine included.
Uni (sea urchin) is our most favorite sushi. A perfect meal for us would be a pound of freshly harvested uni on top of warm sushi rice, aah, so yummy. The uni here was very fresh and creamy. It was of medium grade but had all the tastes of top quality variety. The sweetish-salty flavor is quite intoxicating.
We originally wanted eel hosamaki which was not on the menu so a bit of explaining to the server had to be made. My sister and I love hosamakis because they’re the perfect snack: not much rice and the nori gives extra flavor to the fish. What came before us was regular eel roll instead. Rather than sending it back, I decided to use it as a measuring stick. The main reason for sloppy rolls is the rice. Here, the rice is too soft, brought about by using too much water in the steaming process. Too soft rice will make rolls fall apart as there is not enough structure to hold the ingredients in. I did like the fact that they use teriyaki sauce sparingly.
Another notable item on the table was the ceviche which was excellent. The fish was so fresh and the citrus marinade was very good. We don’t like American rolls so we didn’t even try any but I noticed how big they were. Our seaweed salad was nothing out of the ordinary but it wasn’t bad either. The tempura were a bit over-fried and the batter was coated unevenly. Skip the overpriced edamame altogether.
- Definitely a fun, energetic place especially for groups.
- We had two servers (a main one and an assistant) so service was pretty good.
- Syrupy cocktails tend to be extremely sweet.
- Prices are reflective of the area and type of establishment, which were quite reasonable.
- They were playing awesome music on our visit: rock, pop, indie folk, indie rock, 80s, 90s.
- Bathrooms are located on the main floor which is a pain to get to if you’re hanging around upstairs waiting for your table.
- I hate it that they offer you something but don’t tell you that it’s not free. The edamame is so overpriced at $3.50.
1080 Peachtree Street, Suite 8
Atlanta, GA 30309