Last night's dinner was a perfect opportunity for me to review the restaurant, because my friend John and my new friend Keith treated me and several other sushi-lovers to an awesome variety of dishes. I had the great fortune to sample at least ten different specialties and rolls, paired with some wonderful wines from Cakebread Cellars and a '95 Dominus. Thanks, guys!
Taka Moriuchi is brilliant. Each one of his dishes was a work of culinary art. The fish was super fresh, the vegetables bright and enticing, and the aromas invigorating. Taka's hits were too numerous for me to completely detail without droning on for twenty paragraphs, so I'll just go over some of the highlights here.
The salmon ceviche was cool and bright, mixed with surprise seasonal white grapes and sliced grape tomatoes. It was packed with flavor. The Aji Tataki - Japanese jack fish with ginger, green onion and shiso leaf, was perfectly prepared and left me scraping the plate, hungry for more. The grilled chilean seabass, marinated in miso and sake, was just as good as the baked seabass I had at Soto's years ago. It was unbelievably tender.
And finally, the Japanese pancake, the okonomiyaki. Ahhh. I have read a few reviews of this that noted Taka is the only restaurant in Atlanta that serves it. What a shame that it's not more commonly offered. The complex flavor of the combination of fish and the beauty of the dish will astound you.
My only criticism is of the passion roll, which is eel with spicy avocado paste topping, red tuna and orange salmon. The sauce was so hot that I felt it overwhelmed the more delicate flavors of the fish. Other than that, I can't complain about anything.
Incidentally, the service was great. Taka Moriuchi himself stopped by our table several times and was all smiles. So would you be, if you had his talent with a sharp knife.
Verdict: The best sushi I've eaten in Atlanta since the close of Soto on Piedmont. Should be the number one choice of any sushi aficionado.