Best Sushi in Atlanta?
Sushi Soto closed down right around the time when I first moved to Atlanta, so I was not able to try it. Good ones I've tried so far are Hashiguchi, Taka, and Sushi Huku. I plan to try MF Sushi Bar and Haru Ichiban.
Would like to hear more about where to find great sushi in Atlanta.
It depends on if you equate the "good looking, hip crowd" with good sushi. MF sushi is very good, but the prices are a little high because of the crowd they are trying to attract and because of the restaurant location. Try Sushi Nami up in Alpharetta. When a chef is as knowledgeable as Scott and will only go to 2 or 3 other sushi restaurants in Atlanta (because he knows they are as stringent about quality as he is) then I tend to listen.
Just off of Ga 400:
5316 Windward Pkwy Ste B
Alpharetta, GA 30004
I can definitely second the suggestion of Sushi Nami. It has turned me into a sushi lover. Everything is extremely fresh, and the place never smells fishy at all like some of the lower quality sushi places. And Scott is such a nice guy - he sent us home with a special bottle of sake last weekend when he found out that we had just gotten engaged that week.
Also a great place if you have non sushi eaters in a group. Their tempura is amazing - perfectly crisp but not greasy at all. On a recent visit, the tempura platter consisted of shrimp, chicken, crab stick, onion rings, yellow squash, okra, eggplant and sweet potato.
I'll definitely give Nami a try then. I don't care about the look or the crowd at all. Price is also not really a concern. I'm after a place that has great selection of the freshest sea creatures prepared by a chef who's skillful and knowledgeable.
You should be pleased with Sushi Nami. They still have some "Americanized" sushi rolls with cream cheese and things like that (can you ever get away from it?!), but they are also very good with the more traditional style sushi.
MF and Zuma sushi have great sushi and hip atmospheres. I totally recommend both if you're only looking for sushi, but I wouldn't exactly call these "neighborhood" sushi restaurants.
Hashiguchi IS a neighborhood sushi restaurant, but it is way the heck up in Marietta in a strip mall. The atmosphere leaves something to be desired but they have surprisingly fresh fish and don't have frou frou rolls. It's all served on a banana leaf, which is different from anywhere else that I've been to in Atlanta.
If I was only craving sushi and nothing more, I would go to one of the 3 that I just mentioned. However, our neighborhood/go-to sushi restaurant when we lived there (just moved from Atlanta two months ago) was Mali. You could go there with or without sushi lovers and everyone would be happy because they also have thai, so I wouldn't count that one out.
I live in Vinings area, so Hashiguchi is actually the closest among really good places I've heard, and the one I usually go to. (Sushi Huku is close too) It IS quiet and without much decoration, but like you said the fish was impressively fresh. I judge heavily on the shari (sushi rice), and I think theirs are very good. Also like the banana leave and order as you go style. (I always sit at the sushi bar)
I will be trying out MF and Zuma as well. Has no one been to Haru Ichiban out in Duluth? I heard it's very good.