Taka Sushi: Atlanta, GA, USA
Last night, I celebrated the end of chemotherapy again with a larger group of friends at Taka Sushi, a quaint and small sushi restaurant located in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, GA. Again, as with buffets, raw foods are limited to an immune-deficient person. This included one of my favorite foods – sushi. While I am fairly positive I could eat cooked rolls, I did not want to take a chance on the fact that the very same cooked roll may be prepared on the board that raw fish was also used on to make nigiri. Needless to say, after eight months of deprivation, I was ecstatic to get some fresh fish into my mouth.
My go-to nigiri pieces are toro (fatty tuna) and tamago (egg omelet). Yes, it’s a strange combination, but those two are by far my favorite items. They also happen to be on complete opposite sides of the board when it comes to cost: toro tends to run at market price while tamago is usually a few greenbacks. These were definitely added onto my order as well as hotate (scallop). The toro was flown in from Australia, and the hotate was from Japan. I suppose you could say that my tastebuds run on the higher end. The toro was melting in my mouth, as well as the scallops. Both were much fresher and tastier than Haru Ichiban. I had some reservations being that I did not see too much marbleization of fish fat that I normally like to have with fatty tuna, but the taste was absolutely splendid. It did not have a very fishy taste. While I was scared that the scallops would taste of brine, they were also pretty fresh and had a very nice clean taste to it as well. The tamago was perfectly done, being neither too sweet nor too salty.
My best friend got the agedashi tofu. Ever since I introduced her to this dish as well as the tamago omelet sushi, she has gotten that every time we have gone out to eat at a Japanese restaurant. I was contemplating this dish as well, but being that I hadn’t had sushi or rolls in eight months, I wanted to limit my order to these few. However, it did not stop me from accepting her offer when she passed me the plate for a piece. The tofu pieces are much larger than the other restaurants that I’ve been to in Atlanta (Haru Ichiban, Shoya Izakaya, and Sushi Yoko), and I like how they were generous with the seaweed and scallion toppings. There wasn’t too much difference in the sauce though. I suppose this dish must be pretty standard in most Japanese restaurants.
I also got the Coconut Shrimp roll and the Eel & Avocado roll. The former consisted of tempura shrimp that had been rolled in coconut shavings and deep-fried. In addition, there was mango slices on top of the roll itself. Inside there was cucumber and a light spread of mayonaise. The Eel & Avocado roll was pretty standard with both barbecue eel (unagi) and avocado on the inside with cucumber and red tobiko (fish roe) on top. Out of the two rolls, I enjoyed the coconut shrimp roll better. I can’t say that I enjoyed the taste of coconut shrimp in a sushi roll, but the Eel & Avocado roll was disappointing. There was too much avocado and not enough eel. Perhaps their eel was not marinated enough, but there was a lack of the barbecue sauce as well. The roll tasted pretty flat overall.
I also tried my friend’s CNN roll. Basically it is a spicy tuna roll that is layered with fresh tuna slices on top. If you like spicy tuna, then this is pretty tasty. The fish here is really fresh and so nothing tastes over marinated or fishy. The extra slices of maguro (tuna) on top also makes it a little better than your average spicy tuna roll.
The price of the sushi overall is higher than most places outside of Atlanta. Total, I myself ate $56 dollars worth of sushi. I did go all out though given that I went into deprived-glutton mode. But given how fresh the fish was, I was willing to shell for it. The toro ended up being $11 for two pieces of nigiri which is not too bad and to be expected. I wouldn’t be able to give you a recommendation on the sake since I did not have any.
I feel like I should give an extra section for service because this place was one of the worst places when it came to service. The waitress took almost 10 minutes each time to take our order. Initially she only took the first two orders and then disappeared. We had to wait about fifteen minutes to flag her down again. Then the rolls took forever to come out. It was almost about ten to fifteen minutes per roll to reach our table. Service was so slow that by the time the last three people received their order, the first two people in our party to order had finished their meal. Gratuity was added since our party was so large as well otherwise I would have docked them on this big time. Overall, dinner took two-and-a-half hours!!
All in all, a summary:
- Toro (fatty tuna) nigiri : ****.5 (4.5 stars)
- Hotate (scallop) nigiri: **** (4 stars)
- Tamago (egg) nigiri: **** (4 stars)
- Coconut shrimp roll: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- CNN roll: **** (4 stars)
- Agedashi tofu: **** (4 stars)
- Eel & Avocado roll: **.5 (2.5 stars)
- SERVICE: * (1 star)
If you would like to partake at Taka Sushi:385 Pharr Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305 (404) 869-2802