I get so tired of people claiming that good sushi simply isn’t available off of the coast. That might’ve been true in the 1800s but it’s 2013, people! Sure, watching the manager haul seafood–still flapping–off of a boat and into the restaurant’s kitchen is reassuring. But I’ve also discovered my fair share of coastal restaurants that use frozen fish as well as interior restaurants that fly in fresh fish.
When it comes to sushi, all fish must be frozen first if it will be served in the United States. Tuna is the only exception. Surprise!
Second mind blower: big names establishments don’t always order the highest quality fish. Like meat-glued steaks at luxury restaurants, certain corners will be cut no matter how much you pay or how strict the dress code might be. We patrons have this idea that the chef wouldn’t dare put his/her name on a lower quality product. As someone who knows a seafood delivery guy personally, you’d be surprised who would put their name on poorer choices. (Giving you a list would breech his contract. Sorry.) And you’d be pleasantly surprised by mom and pop restaurants who won’t settle for anything but the best.
With that established, good fish can be found in the most surprising places. Authentic preparation goes the same way. (Like professional Japanese cooks and chefs can only live in big cities? Please.) Looking for interesting flavor pairings? You can find those outside of Atlanta, too. There are a few sushi restaurants outside of the Perimeter that I believe are noteworthy.
JP Sushi in Roswell is a rather unattractive restaurant tucked into an equally unattractive shopping center. It’s old as Moses, frozen in time with the exception of a shiny Starbucks. I might be breaking a local code of ethics by even telling you about this little gem but I’m sure the owners won’t mind! My faves: everything. I’ve seriously liked everything that I’ve ordered there in the past two years.
Rice Restaurant and Sushi Bar in Cumming probably has the coolest owner ever. She takes pride in every aspect of the business (which probably means that she is exhausted at the end of the day.) While the serving sizes here are smaller than I would prefer, they’re full of flavor. Rice is a much needed oasis of tastiness in Forsyth County.
Sushi Nami in Alpharetta consistently offers a stellar combination of delicious food and great service. It’s popular with just about everyone in the area so be prepared to grab a drink and wait your turn. Sushi Nami stands OTP but it has ITP prices. No place is perfect, eh? If you’re ready to drop some dollars, go for the sashimi. It’s worth it.
Silk Road in Cumming opened recently to applause. The customer service here is excellent, very friendly and relaxed. Keep that in mind if you’re in a hurry! The meal has always been worth the wait. Silk Road offers great food that’s reasonably priced. Admittedly, the atmosphere is a little weird–sports on TV, 80’s love songs on the radio, with a hodgepodge of Asian decor–but it just makes dinner more interesting. My fave: the caterpillar roll. I have no idea what they do differently that a million other restaurants but it’s scrumptious!
I know you’ve got a few favorites that aren’t on the list. Give a shout out to your favorite sushi restaurant outside of Atlanta in the comments section below!