Tuesday, August 10, 2010
3400 Around Lenox Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 404/841-9229
Last night my friend Brad and I had dinner at Hashiguchi Jr. We shared a variety of items in this smallish, simply decorated restaurant in the Around Lenox shopping center right beside Lenox Mall.
First we began with sashimi - sea bass, yellow tail and flounder. The flounder was OK, the sea bass was disappointing. Sea bass used to be my favorite sushi fish at the former Soto, and I remember it having a lot more flavor than what I was served at Hashiguchi Jr. The yellow tail was good, better than what I recently ate at Paul's (see July review). I attempted to order the yellow jack but they were out.
One of the best dishes was the goma-aae, which is parboiled spinach with sesame sauce ($3.50). The sauce was thick and sweet, quite delightful atop the nearly bitter spinach.
My favorite dish of the night was the gindara miso-zuke, grilled cod with soybean paste ($6). Delicious. Wonderful smoky grilled flavored crust with a bright white, meaty interior. Yum. I could have ordered 3 of these and an order of the goma-aae and left totally happy.
This was followed by one of the specials, beef tendon with ponzu sauce ($5). I liked this, but I didn't love it. One of the reasons for this is that I'm still tasting the ponzu sauce over 12 hours later. The meat is cooked just right, but it has a very slightly gamy taste. Tendon simply tastes more like red meat than regular beef cuts. It takes a little palate adjustment.
Last but not least we had the tuna tataki with "special sauce." I'm not sure that the special sauce differed very much from soy sauce, but honestly, it barely needed a condiment. The tuna itself was a lovely light red with a thin fatty white border, and was rolled in (I think) cracked black pepper. Very good.
Hashiguchi Jr. isn't the place to go if you need a quick dinner. Selections from the sushi bar come out slowly and separately, especially when the dining room is crowded. Although I normally abhor slow service, I don't necessarily have a problem with it in this case. Good sushi takes time to make.
Good sushi also isn't cheap. Our meal averaged $35/person, although that included two large Sapporo beers. Again, I didn't expect it to be "a good deal." Quality raw fish well presented is never going be inexpensive. If you want cheap sushi, pick up some rolls filled with imitation fish and inferior rice at Publix or a food court restaurant. If you want to spend a moderate amount, come here. If you want excellent, artistic combinations and are OK with spending about twice this much go to Taka, my favorite sushi restaurant in Atlanta.
Hashiguchi Jr. also has a location in Marietta.
Verdict: Good. I would return, but nothing beats Taka on Pharr Rd.