Atlanta foodies remember that Chef Obunai co-owned Repast (R.I.P.) with her ex-husband Joe Truex, and most recently teamed up with Guy Wong of Miso Izakaya to serve ramen lunches that received national attention.
I had my best meal in weeks at Joli Kobe. Obunai's culinary influences are principally from her native Japan, but she also attended the French Culinary Institute in New York and worked in some renowned French restaurants in that city. Her cooking's flavors both tease and blaze.
The menu, which changes daily, included nine choices, three of them starters.
We ordered all three starters: a salad with asparagus and thin-cut baby carrots; an arugula salad with farro, grapefruit, and fennel; and cured Atlantic salmon with fennel and baby celery.
Obunai's presentation is as gorgeous here as it was at Repast. The trout, for example, was served beneath the fish's detached, crispy skin. My friend wouldn't eat it. Were I him, I would have broken the skin into pieces and mixed it with the chunks of flesh beneath it.
Dessert was easy. You pick out a pastry from the adjoining bakery. Mine was made with white chocolate and a whisper of raspberries (left).
There wasn't a dish on the table that failed.
This Friday, Obunai will be joined by Chef Shigetosi Nakamura of New York's Ramen Lab, which is reputed to make the nation's best ramen noodles. Rusty Bowers, owner/butcher of Pine Street Market, will also be present. Get your tickets online.
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