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Japanese Food in Atlanta?

I'm going to a tradeshow at AmericasMart for seven days this coming July. I'm excited to try out all the "southern foods" that the city has to offer... HOWEVER, my boss is coming from Japan to join in on the fun for four days and for some odd reason, he can only eat Japanese food. It doesn't have to be cheap, but it has to be good.
I've seen some suggestions for sushi places here and there, but are there any other suggestions?

PS We don't have cars, so somewhere preferably close... IE, walking distance or short distance on taxi.

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  1. Most of the sushi joints recommended by locals are of the "hip professionals going for drinks and decent sushi after work" variety, with modern and ostentatious decor. Just my experience. And none of the sushi at those places would please a hard-core Japanese dude, I think, but I've not tried all of those places.

    The only sushi Ive had in a more traditional ambience, and with truly excellent food, is Hashiguchi in Marietta. It's a true Japanese food experience, from what I can tell. A lot of the fish is flown in from Japan, and the owner is a hard-core Japanes dude who can barely bring himself to serve maki rolls. And they have a wide assortment of non-sushi Japanes food, too. You might want to rent a car, otherwise he might starve. Atlanta is not teeming with "real" Japanese food. Maybe somebody else knows better about a good place near you, but some of the places that get recommended here on Chowhound would NOT please your boss, I assure you....

    4 Replies
    1. re: uptown jimmy

      Maybe MF Sushi is close and good enough? Never tried it, as it has that vibe and decor I do not dig at all, but folks say the food is really good...

      1. re: uptown jimmy

        Thank you Jimmy! Do you know what the closest MARTA station is to Marietta (well, at least to Hashiguchi)?? We will most likely take a taxi from the station because we wont be able park a car even if we rented one!

        1. re: nomnomnoms

          Unfortunately, MARTA doesn't go anywhere near Marietta. I suppose you could go to Dunwoody station (Perimeter Mall) and taxi from there, but it might be about the same as taxi the whole way. Any MARTA-riders have a better suggestion?

          1. re: nomnomnoms

            Marietta has a long history of keeping public transit out of the area. I wish it was easier for you guys to get there, as I know your boss would feel right at home.

            I worked for a guy in Athens that was very old-school Japanese. He ran his sushi bar just the same way as Hashiguchi, and it's still the only sort of sushi restaurant I can enjoy. Kizawa was a character, though. He was pretty uptight, but his sushi was darned good. And he sorta warmed up to me, the crazy American. Called me "Kooky JJ". I wish he was still around and making killer sushi. But Athens is a tough place to run a "true" sushi restaurant...

        2. The Pacific Rim Bistro is near where you'll be staying. I have no idea if it's any good.


          1 Reply
          1. re: northside food

            Pacific Rim is pretty good for some things (very nice sea bass) but the sushi is not anything to write home about.

          2. Nakato on Cheshire Bridge is very good. http://www.nakatorestaurant.com/
            Hope you have a nice visit. There is Kang Nam on Buford Hwy, but I am not sure how Japanese it is.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Katj

              I second Nakato. I was pleasantly surprised to find their sushi to be phenomenal!

              I noticed discussion of Hashiguchi above... I used to go to the one by Lenox mall all the time and frankly can't remember why I stopped going there. If it's the same as the one in Marietta, it is super easy to reach by MARTA.

            2. The best, most authentic sushi/japanese cuisine is Sushi Huku, 6300 Powers Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30339. Not all that close to where you're going to be I will bet, but every japanese friend I have goes here when they get homesick. A very authentic experience. I hope you can find a friend with a car to take you :)

              1. I have spent a lot of time in Japan (about 20 trips, a couple of which have been over a month) and have eaten a lot of sushi there and here. Frankly, I like a lot of americanized sushi, but if you want true Japanese sushi the only place I have found it in Atlanta is MF Buckhead (the other location, MF Sushibar is closer to where you will be, and is very good, but far less authentic). MF Buckhead is all kinds of expensive -- look for over $100 per person -- but still much cheaper than eating sushi in Japan. I once had a client take me out to a wonderful little place in Minato-ku, and was relieved he was paying when I realized the bill was over $3000 for 6 of us.

                1. For a (rare) evening out, we went to Sushi House in Norcross Saturday after reading Kessler's article in Thursday's AJC (http://www.ajc.com/food/content/print...). For reference, we just don't do sushi that much probably due to cost, and we've ended up at Taka more times than anywhere else since the Chowpup's arrival.

                  I probably enjoyed it more than my wife did- chef was very enthusiastic to let me try different varieties of shochu before ordering, and we discussed cutlery some, too. We shared one order of the $65 chef's tasting menu and a nama (one roll plus 8 pieces, IIRC). I think we both thought that the sushi was very fresh and well presented. But she was expecting something more along the lines of the omakase we've had at Taka (and walked out hungry afterward)- more small inventive plates than just straight-up fish. It also got a touch repetitive with seeing the same pieces in different presentations, but that may just have been a holiday weekend thing. And they didn't have monkfish liver, something we really wanted after reading the article.

                  I think it would be a great place to be a regular, but geography and cost will keep us from doing that.

                  We also heard about a sushi restaurant (don't know the name) near 120 and Powers Ferry in E Cobb. Friends of ours are big fans, and we were impressed to hear that they sometimes serve Kona Kampachi- my wife just visited their operation in HI recently. Sound familiar to anyone?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ted

                    This place is not in Norcross. It is the Doraville area on Buford Highway!

                    1. re: womenluvtofish

                      Right you are! Had to look at a map to remind myself that it isn't Norcross until you get to Jimmy Carter Blvd. My apologies to all the slighted Doravillians.

                  2. Thanks guys, for all your help. I will be leaving LA for your city tomorrow... I'll come back after I've tried these places and post some reviews. Wish me luck!

                    1. Nakato on cheshire bridge road.. stay off the Hibachi side and on the sushi side.

                      or Umezono in marietta... bit farther but very authentic

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ddub

                        You should go to a sushi place on Buford Highway Called Sushi House Hayakawa. Sit at the sushi bar and have him prepare the chef choice it is around 65.00 and soooo worth it. I have eaten sushi all over and this is the closest to NY City sushi I have ever had. They also have a great sake menu.
                        The place is small and quaint but this guy works magic. Your boss will not be disappointed. It is located at 5979 Buford Highway @ International
                        Plaza 770-986-0010. Only open for dinner. The link below are some reviews from yelp.com Atlanta. They have been written up in the Atlanta Journal. AMAZING. The websit is still under construction but you can look and get the idea. www.atlantasushibar.com Let me know how it was.

                        1. re: womenluvtofish

                          I went to Hayakawa 2 weeks ago and completely agree

                          Fantastic fish

                          Well worth the drive

                      2. go to www.yelp.com and enter atlanta and type in the restaurant name and get the reviews from fellow yelpers. Don't be fooled by all the other sushi places this is the best
                        Sorry the link did not attach

                        1. So after having me make a full report on Japanese restaurants somewhat near the MARTA stations, my boss decided to disregard (our) hard work and chose to go to Imari in Buckhead.
                          My boss decided to go to Imari because she found it in the Atlanta living guide for Japanese people and it was highly reccomended. Only problem is, they listed Imari's OLD location. This place is now called Sushi House, a trendy hotspot it seems. We only found out after the taxi dropped us off.

                          All I can say is that I dislike this place very much, even though I personally LOVE Californian Sushi (that's all that we really have in Orange County). The food is mediocre, not authentic, lots of super rolls with loads of dynamite and tempura batter, and can not serve shochu correctly (we asked for a mizuwari and she gave us the shot and a glass of water separately). Nice atmosphere but pricey, however the service was very very nice.
                          We will be going to another Japanese place tomorrow so hopefully my supervisor will use my guide this time... Will let you guys know soon!

                          PS Everyone is SO nice in Atlanta... Why can't LA be as loving???

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: nomnomnoms

                            Hashiguchi has a location in Buckhead, near Lenox mall, so it's close to both the Buckhead Marta station and the Lenox Marta station. (it's called Hashiguchi Jr., at 3400 Around Lenox Rd NE # C520, underneath the Dantanas). Was in there last night, food was delicious and the clientel was almost entirely Japanese. As uptown jimmy says, this restaurant is very authentic.

                            1. re: shooter323

                              I was born in Japan so I know a little about there food, In GA like so many other foods it is hard to find a real authentic restaurant, I know some chefs from Hashiguchi and like that restaurant

                          2. Hi guys,

                            Well I safely made it back to LA and would like to thank you all for your help.
                            I went to Hashiguchi Jr and Haru Ichiban after that, and I must say that I wasn't too impressed with Hashiguchi Jr... Horrible wait staff and the fish was mediocre. However, Haru Ichiban had a great izakaya menu and everyone was so nice.

                            Pics and Full report at my blog (it's too long to post here)

                            Once again, thank you all for your kind help. Talk to you soon!