Authentically Japanese, from the pristine fish to the clean, spare light wood decor to the bottles of sake and sochu lined up behind the chef. Some of the best dishes are only found through word of mouth, such as the fabulous monkfish liver in ponzu sauce, or the salmon roe marinated in rice wine. The owner, Atsushi "Art" Hayakawa, is meticulous with his knife skills, slicing and dicing fish flown in daily from Japan. The restaurant only serves dinner, but stays open late -- until 2 a.m. on Friday for those craving sashimi well into the night. Read full review...
For an unusual mix of mariachi music, decorative Madonnas and Mexican shrimp cocktails, visit this unique Asian/Latino mall nestled into an otherwise prosaic shopping center. For a Colombian snack, try the arripes at La Fonda Paisa, and to satisfy a south-of-the-border sweet tooth report to La Suprema, an authentic Mexican bakery, for the pastel de elote.
Also known as Stone Bowl House, this joint looks like your typical modern Korean restaurant -- floor-to-ceiling blonde wood and private cubbyhole dining areas. Woo Nam Jeong is different from most Korean spots, however. It offers a unique 12-course tasting menu, as well as the best dolsots (cast-iron pot dishes) in Atlanta. Fresh ingredients, such as mushrooms, eel, squid, and pork, are all seen in the variety of dolsots. Other popular bites include cylindrical rice cakes and dumplings in smooth broth and tender seafood pancakes. This restaurant needs to be your top priority the next time you have a hankering for Korean food.
The Korean-Chinese menu remains, but try the request-only Szechuan menu. Besides the Husband and Wife Lung, there's Slobber Chicken, and if you’ve always wondered what Mao Tse Tung liked to eat, there's a pork-belly dish named for him.
Easy to miss in a drab strip mall just outside I-285, Hae Woon Dae serves some of Atlanta's most delicious and entertaining Korean cuisine, with bul gogi beef and other meat dishes charcoal-grilled in sunken cauldrons at your own table. The pickled kimchi sides come in so many colors and flavors you're bound to find one you adore.
A sunny Korean restaurant with a la carte dining in the front room and charcoal Korean barbecue in the back room. Go for the barbecue. A variety of meats are offered, and the panchan includes a delicious fresh kimchee--salad greens dressed in chili, vinegar and sesame oil.
Although 88 Tofu House is hailed by many as the spot for soon dubu, Cho Dang Tofu's version of the Korean tofu stew served in a heated stone bowl is just as good, and its atmosphere much calmer. Communication with the staff can be a bit wooly at times, but do not fear -- the menu is simple as can be. Eleven of the 13 menu items are tofu stew. They vary only by their add-ins -- such as a velvety combination of oysters, shrimp and clams -- and by the level of spiciness you desire, ranging from the chili-free "white" to thermonuclear. Treat yourself to a free cappuccino or soft-serve ice cream from one of the machines stationed by the front door.
After much time as a fixture, El Pastor closed and a new restaurant, El Chisme Mexican Grill, was born in its place. Much of the same ambiance-free décor remains, but there's a fresh coat of garish neon paint in the hallway leading to the bathrooms. Non-Spanish speakers be forewarned: The staff speaks little English. And while you may wait for your food, really, a long wait can be a reassuring sign. And how can you possibly fault a lone cook making everything from scratch? Even the tortilla chips, made from handmade tortillas, are fried to order. They're accompanied by a large grey molcajete decorated with a pig's face and filled with a murky green, intensely spicy salsa dotted with chunks of roasted green chilies. While the chilaquiles lack an abundance of salsa, it's hard to find fault with the freshly fried triangles of tortillas, smothered in crispy strips of chicken and topped with two runny fried eggs, crema Mexicana and crumbled queso fresco. B,L,D. 5091 Buford Highway
This is mainly a Cajun seafood restaurant whose owner, Hieu Pham, is a blend of Chinese, Cambodian and Vietnamese. The customer base could as well be milling in the lobby of the United Nations. Pham is, as his menu says, obsessed with freshness. The "crispy-fried" catfish is perfectly crisp with piping hot, almost sweet flesh. Ditto for the jumbo shrimp, lightly battered and fried until they were al dente. The menu also offers seafood and fish by the pound. You can buy these, along with fish, to take home raw, or the restaurant will cook them according to your instructions and you can eat them on the premises.