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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: A Little Part of Japan on Buford Highway

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Little Part of Japan on Buford Highway

There has been a lot of buzz lately about a sushi place on Buford Highway called Sushi House Hayakawa. This authenticly Japanese sushi bar is located on Buford Highway several blocks north of 285. When we first pulled into the parking lot, I got all excited about the bright neon sign next to the 'Grand Opening' sign that read "Karaoke Bar". Wow, I thought, this place is authentic! But alas, the karaoke bar was the next door establishment.

But with or without karaoke, this place is truly Japanese. If you call during non-business hours, the answering machine greeting is in Japanese. Our waitress, an American, was the same person who I was passed on to when I called to make my reservation. While she was very good, I couldn't help but think she may be the only English-speaking staff in the place. And the clientele was 50% Japanese. Always a good sign.

When I go into a place like this, I almost always order Omakase to see what new experiences the sushi chefs can throw my way. While the fish quality was amazingly fresh, I was a little disappointed in the actual selections, especially since I ordered the more expensive $65 version. The sashimi and nigiri selections were your typical tuna, yellowtail, cooked shrimp, octopus, squid. There was even a tuna roll. In all, it didn't seem too different from a chef's choice selection at your run-of-the-mill sushi bar. I was especially disappointed with no toro in any form in any of the courses. The last course, a bowl of a dapping of rice topped with a generous portion of salmon roe was the most distinct course of the Omakase. Other than that, I thought the dinner sort of lacked creativity. I wondered if being gaijin that I got a more pedestrian version? We didn't speak with the sushi chef ahead of time, to let them know we wanted an adventurous selection (and toro), so that may have been a mistake. But again the fish quality was outstanding, so I will definitely give it another try some time.

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