by Normand Talley on
Simply put, this place is DA BOMB. I'd heard a lot about this place and been wanting to try it out as I love Japanese food (not just sushi). This is one of a handful of restaurants in metro Atlanta that is authentic Japanese - the chefs, servers, food, and even patrons. As soon as I walked in, I felt like I was back in Japan. The sushi bar was busy, there were Japanese businessmen at several of the tables, all I could hear was Japanese being spoken throughout. The restaurant is located in a strip mall just north of 285 on Buford Highway. If you're traveling north on Buford, the restaurant will be on your right. It's in the corner right next to Karaoke Melody. The inside is nicely decorated and very Japanese traditional from the tables/chairs, wooden walls, lighting, etc. Although, I did notice a few items from IKEA (haha) such as the coat hooks in the bathroom, the floor lamps and some of the dishes. The menu is extensive and this is probably the widest selection of authentic Japanese food I've seen in Atlanta. Also interesting is the menu tells you where certain ingredients are from, whether it was flown in from California or Japan or wherever. I like that. This place has a reputation of being pricey, but it's really not. Check out my Local Photos of this place to see the "Today's Specials" menu when I went. The majority of the dishes were anywhere from $4 to $8. Very reasonable especially for such high quality Japanese food. The best part about this restaurant is the quality. The ingredients are so fresh and each dish is skillfully prepared by Art Hayakawa (master sushi chef) and the other chefs. We ordered several dishes, which included Jellyfish with Shiso plum (very interesting flavor), Baby freshwater Sijimi clam Miso soup, the Haya-san box (special boxed-type of sushi - not rolled - with tuna, salmon, crispy tempura flakes, avocado, tobiko, masago and more), Enoki mushroom wrapped in bacon on a skewer, Green tea flavored cold buckwheat noodles, Raw wasabi marinated octopus, Ikura don (tobiko mixed with minced sea weed and rice), and a homemade Calpico sherbet dessert. Every single bite was delectable. I loved the cold buckwheat noodles and haven't had anything like them in the States. I always ate them on the airplane when I flew and connected in Japan. These were great and were served with a small plate of wasabi, radish, finely chopped spring onion, and soy sauce that you could dip the noodles into. The jellyfish and octopus were flown in from Japan. The octopus was marinated and served with RAW chopped wasabi, not the concentrated processed paste that you normally see. Awesome. The Ikura don could be eaten alone without having to add any wasabi or soy sauce. Very nice dish. Be sure to check out my Local Photos for pics of all the dishes. The Calpico sherbet dessert is one of a kind. You can only get it here where it's homemade and a Hayakawa specialty. It's made out of the Japanese drink Calpico (or Calpis) and it's pretty much the shaved ice version of it with a sweet bean paste (or something) on top. Our server Takashi was awesome as was the rest of the staff and Art Hayakawa led everyone in the restaurant to sing Happy Birthday to me (I came on my birthday). He likes taking pictures with his customers and posting them on the bulletin board in the back so he did the same with us. We came on a Thursday night around 9pm without a reservation and while the restaurant was busy, we were seated and served immediately. Finally, the restaurant does a raffle on the first of each month for a $100 gift certificate. If they call the number you leave and you don't answer, they "leave you a very sad voicemail." Photos of all the winners are also posted in the back on the bulletin board. Be sure to check out their web site ( http://www.atlantasush...) for a more detailed menu and photos of all their offerings. In summary, everything is top notch, from the service to the food. This place rocks and is my new favorite Japanese restaurant in Atlanta.
by Ivan S. on
I recently went here for my friend's birthday. It was a Wednesday so I wanted to get in early and then leave early but that didn't exactly happen. They told us that they open at 10. They lied, then they told us to come back at 10:30 and we did. Still weren't open. Eventually they opened at 11. I am already a bit annoyed because integrity is important to me. However it is a Birthday and I had a couple of drinks at the cantina down the street. They make is wait in line and then we go down stairs were it feels like a cave and there is no reception. We then asked where my friend's birthday part is and they told us to go in the back, so like idiots we listened. Turned out to be some premier event. After about 15minutes we found out it was where we first were. We went up to the bouncer, which I think is the same one Maria had issues with, and asked to get in because by this time we had been talking to him allot and he knew we had already waited in line once. He wouldn't let us, and responded to us in a very smug superior way. Again another thing I am not very fond of. Once we got inside the bartender was really sweet and flirty, which is nice even tho she gets paid to be. The ratio of guys to girls was horrible, about 4;1. Good thing my friend and I had a couple of girls meet us there besides the ones from the Birthday. It was funny because they pretty much got jumped by a couple of guys and a photographer before they even made it down the stairs. The lack of cell phone reception combined with the bouncers not letting us stand upstairs where there was a few bars made meeting someone very difficult. I am making sure there is a special event going on if I ever even think about going back to that place. I am sure some people enjoyed very much. Not I !!!