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Quick review Aja in ATL

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We recently ate at Home in Buckhead and enjoyed it. The owner discussed with us his new venture in the fomer Emerils location. It was to be modern Asian and was named Aja (after the Steely Dan tune). I was in ATL last week and made reservations for 8:00 on Tuesday night. The valet was friendly and courteous. We entered and were struck by the visuals. The place is stunning. We were seated quickly (it was a third full). From the beginning, the techno music was very annoying (think the lobby of the W Hotel on steroids) and very loud. Drink order in. I was appalled to receive a drink in kitchy glass with an umbrella. I sent it back and requested a highball glass which the waitress had a difficult time with. Drink was OK. Next came the dimsum cart. Tried several offerings (lobster/shrimp dumplings, pork sticky buns) and they were OK. I am still annoyed by the music and can't have a conversation with my dinner companion as a result of the noise. Ordered dinner, but consdered leaving (and should have). Dinner was the roast (Peking style) duck with Hosin and sticky buns, and the whole lobster with curry. The food was good, not great. I spoke with the manager (very pleasant) about the music and my inability to carry on a conversation as a result which ruined an otherwise pleasant, if not exceptional dining experience. I can understand the high energy vibe at 10:00 on a Friday or Sat. night, but 8:00 on a Tuesday night when it was 1/3 full mostly with business types, couples, and even a few kids. I don't think so. It seems to me that there is some confusion on if Aja is a bar or a dining establishment. Perhaps that confusion is just mine. I was very dissappointed. Not sure I would have been overly impressed with the food regardless, but a more moderate choice in music and volume would have at least allowed me to enjoy my conversation. 2 drinks, dimsum and dinner ran about 125.00. Just my thoughts for your consideration

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  1. What you describe is pretty much my experience with Catherall restaurants, dating back to the 80s- Tom Tom comes to mind here as an example of this. Big on "scene", less on food and the comfort of the patron.

    Thank you for your thoughtful review.