Umi Sushi From Fuyuhiko Ito [Coming Soon]

Posted by Foodie Buddha on February 19, 2013


It’s been a few months since Fuyuhiko Ito‘s plans to open a Buckhead sushi bar started to leak out.  Now, it appears things are finally starting to come together.  The restaurant has been branded Umi, which is the phonetic equivalent of the Japanese word for sea.  Seems appropriate.  The restaurant just launched a facebook page and it’s replete with construction images.  The restaurant is located at 3050 Peachtree Road in Two Buckhead Plaza, which is right in the midst of Chops/Lobster Bar and the St. Regis (amongst other tenants).

It’s one of the restaurants I’m most anxious to see open.  Both Ito-san and his wife Lisa previously worked at the now defunct MF Sushi Bar.  Ito was one of the chefs while Lisa deftly executed the restaurant’s excellent Japanese desserts.  She also showed off her skills as head of service in the fancy pants Omakase room at MF.

While the restaurant hasn’t officially said what the opening date is, they are shooting for March 1, 2013.  My peeps tell me that date is more or less in play.  If there are delays, it might be a result of licensing and such as opposed to construction stalls.

Miso Izakaya: Laurels Be Damned, Changes On The Horizon

Posted by Foodie Buddha on January 05, 2012

Miso Izakaya and chef/owner Guy Wong have become critical darlings.  The end result is that this Old 4th Ward Japanese restaurant (and chef) has won and been nominated for a slew of awards across the foodiesphere.  With Wong and sous chef Melissa Allen firmly entrenched in the kitchen, one can’t be completely shocked by this critical infatuation.  While many chefs across the city spend a chunk of time trying to play the celebrity game, Wong and Allen focus on consistency by cooking everything that comes out of that kitchen.

So those efforts, combined with the infatuated writings of many, have helped the small plate restaurant overcome a sputtered start, which, has given way to an ever expanding customer base beyond that of our city’s edgier food fans.  While some of our city’s cash cow restaurants sit back and watch the system chug quietly along, that’s not in the cards for Miso Izakaya.

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Matsuhisa: The Restaurant That Started It All

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 03, 2011

matsuhisa beverly hills

My last meal in Los Angeles was a lunch at Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills.  Before I headed north to the bay of San Francisco, I wanted to sneak into this widely regarded sushi bar, the first jewel in the crown of famed sushimonger Nobu Matsuhisa.  Nobuyuki-san, perhaps the first celebrity sushi chef, has an empire that stretches several continents and a multitude of restaurants.  But it was this little spot on the edge of Beverly Hills where he first rose to worldwide acclaim.

Nowadays, Nobu-san no longer ambles behind the bar at Matsuhisa, instead leaving these day-to-day activities to people like chef Yoshi, a congenial and talented man who hails from Hiroshima’s countryside.  With a lofty reputation, I am sad to say that my single meal at Matsuhisa, while completely pleasant, did not quite qualify amongst the best I’ve indulged in of this Japanese art form.

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Black Cod … Tomo … ‘Nuff Said

Posted by Foodie Buddha on September 06, 2011

black cod belly at tomo

Look at it … drool over it … want it.  Stare at that tempura batter soaking up the ponzu … crave it.  That, my friends in food, is one hell of a dish.  Courtesy of Tomohiro Naito at his eponymous restaurant Tomo, lusciously cut pieces of black cod have been tempura fried and left to swim in a garlic ponzu sauce.  Grated daikon and sliced scallions round out this tongue puckering example of umami.  In a Japanese restaurant where dollars need to be watched with meticulous solicitude, you’ll probably assume the $8.00 price tag exists in err.  Hurry now before Tomo-san realizes this gaff; this may be the most under valued dish in the entire city.

Tomo Japanese Restaurant Address & Information
3256 Cobb Pkwy Atlanta, GA 30339 // 770.690.0555 // website

Watermelon Juice [Drink This Now] 2

Posted by Foodie Buddha on August 23, 2011

watermelon juice at miso izakaya

Alcohol optional in this bad boy.  Freshly squeezed watermelon juice comes courtesy of Guy Wong’s Miso Izakaya.  And while I have your attention, check out this article on The Kitchn about watermelon cocktails.

Miso Izakaya Restaurant Address & Information
619 Edgewood Avenue Atlanta, GA 30312 // 678.701.0128 // website // tw

Ramen, Tacos, and Barbecue … and Tooshie Talk [Quick Hits]

Posted by Foodie Buddha on July 15, 2011

tonkotsu ramen from yakitori jinbei

Another day, another mini-food tour that is my burden. At least I had good company!


Along with GI Joe, I took a Susie Washing Machine to lunch for her birthday.  She’s works near Cloverleaf so we hit up YJ for some of their awesome tonkotsu ramen.  My guests were thoroughly satiated, but my more discerning sensibilities got the better of me.  For the first time in a while (I’ve been there more than most), I was pretty bummed.  The broth still provided a silky, pork infused introduction, and the noodles were spot on, but the rest seemed like a regression concept.  Once laden with delicious roast pork, foodies have been groveling at the reduction down to two pieces per order.  You used to be able to order extra (for a surcharge) … not any more.  The only other visitor was some shredded cabbage (think inside of a spring roll), which was layered beneath the pork.  Still a fine slurping, this example seemed more like a dumbing down than anything else.  Maybe it’s time to look elsewhere for my ramen cravings.

Yakitori Jinbei Restaurant Address & Information
2421 Cobb Parkway, Smyrna, GA 30080 // 770.818.9215 // website // menu
Yakitori Jinbei on Urbanspoon

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MF Omakase Room at MF Buckhead [Splurges] 3

Posted by Foodie Buddha on September 15, 2010

Patrons of all sorts debate the value of a meal at MF Buckhead, Atlanta’s most shi-shi sushi spot.  Together with MF Sushi Bar and MF Omakase Room, Chris Kinjo’s restaurants are the easiest way to have sushi burn a hole in your pocket.  Though indulgent excess is on the decline, and Atlanta’s high-end dining scene is so thin that even Quinones is a once a week affair, elegant expense still has its place in our city.

For the past year and change, Kinjo has been utilizing his hidden room at the Buckhead outpost to serve some of the best sushi this city has seen in many a year.  Up a single flight of stairs, tucked away in a serenely styled room is a Japanese speakeasy that should be on everyone’s list for special occasions.  Believe you me, the MF Omakase Room is as good as it gets.

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Wasabi Grill Restaurant Review – Westside, Atlanta, GA [First Impressions] 7

Posted by Foodie Buddha on June 29, 2010

wasabi grill - the sign by foodiebuddha.

Intown Atlanta has no shortage of burger joints and pizzerias.  Consequently, it seems that this reality costs us the opportunity to enjoy true ethnic food, as framed by our natural ethnocentrism, without having to haul booty up Buford Highway.  Enter Wasabi Grill, a new Japanese/Korean smörgåsbord in the Home Park section of The Westside.  While it may not be the most authentic endeavor, Wasabi Grill, like Miso Izakaya and Hankook Taqueria, is an attempt to give urban Atlanta an alternative to the Americanized sushi bars and assimilated Chinese restaurants that most of us think about when the words “Eastern cuisine” are used.

Having replaced Mosaic Halal Café, you’ll find Wasabi Grill on 14th street just across from Jimmy John’s.  Open just about a week and change, I strolled by a week ago yesterday for a little “Linner.”  While there isn’t anything about the place that makes me think we’re about to witness a renaissance, it did okay given the circumstances.

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Yakitori Jinbei Restaurant Review – Smyrna, GA [Updates] 8

Posted by Foodie Buddha on May 06, 2010

Since my introduction to Yakitori Jinbei in late 2009 (thanks Spark Plug), the restaurant has worked itself into my regular rotation.  I’ve introduced several people to the joint, told countless others, and return whenever I get a hankering for some ramen. (occasional acts of indiscretion at Haru Ichiban notwithstanding).

Having successfully convinced many a foodie that I am not actually cuckoo for cocoa puffs, the newly minted Ramen Brigade set out late last week for a little Hi, Hello, and some much needed sustenance.  Having grabbed Spark Plug and @NoKungFu in route, we met up with Dea (website) and Weigy (website) for some good ole fashion yakitori.  Needless to say, I had no business at the table with people who might as well bleed Asiatic cuisine.  Still, I managed to sneak a seat, and the Ramen Brigade was up and running.

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Tomo Sushi Bar & Japanese Restaurant To Add Buckhead Location [Openings]

Posted by Foodie Buddha on March 30, 2010


Buckhead’s sushi scene is about to get a lot more crowded. A few months ago, word broke that Tomo was set to open in The Ritz-Carlton residences building,  At the time, owner/chef Tomohiro Naito was not sure if his namesake restaurant would keep its current location in Vinings.  Well, according to several of their servers, the Vinings location isn’t going anywhere.  As for the soon to be Buckhead joint, the details are still coming together.  As for now, Restaurants Consulting Group is handling the design, and they have said that the plans are to make the restaurant into a higher-end sushi bar.  There’s no confirmed word yet on an exact opening date, but end of summer was tossed around.

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