Nakato is one of the few restaurants in ATL that has reminded me of Sushi Yasuda in NYC. We have eaten there for close to 20 years and never bother with the menu,choosing instead to develop an intuitive relationship with Kakisan and eating whatever he thinks we should try, while knowing he will always impress with our favorites when they are at their peak. The best fish is rarely listed on the menu and their trad off-menu dishes are exceptional. Even though I respected MF sushi on ponce (never bothered with the buckhead outpost)'s fish and presentation, I have always been loyal to Nakato first and foremost.
Hayakawa reminds me of sushi at 7am in the old Tsukigi market meets some of the nicer "hidden" gems just outside of the touristy parts of Ginza. we have been going here for years and have never been disappointed. It can be expensive for some of the more unusual fish and crowded as well, and is a bit of a trek from DT. Exquisite presentations and excellent conversation from "Art."
Shoya is one of my favorite (relative) newcomers to the ATL scene. It combines the loud fun of metro Tokyo izakaya with a bit of the edginess of the old 90s St. Marks E Village izakaya scene (like Go, RIP!, or Kanka and its infamous red-eyed tanuki)--especially with the large chu-hi menu. The extensive small plates menu is one of the most impressive I've seen in ATL, and while it is not a sushi-centered restaurant, they do have remarkable sushi/sashimi specials that are rarely seen on other ATL menus and probably the most authentic izakaya atmosphere I've found outside of NYC on the east coast.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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