Loading...
 

Restaurant Review - Sushi Yoshi takes Norcross

Authentic Japanese cuisine at Peachtree's north end



Along a strip of Peachtree Industrial leading north to Norcross, Japanese restaurants begin to dot the landscape. Whether you're looking for teppanyaki, tempura or tuna, these restaurants cater to a clientele of largely Japanese descent with stiff shots of sake, tatami rooms and authentic specialties.

Sushi Yoshi crouches below the bustle of Peachtree Industrial and looks a little seamy from the outside. The cluster of cars on a weekday night allayed fears that no one would be present: Inside, nearly every table was packed with sedate Japanese diners.

Two cautious, yet earnest waitresses wearing matching pink kimonos, white cotton socks and red-strapped bamboo sandals gave us a warm "Irasshaimase!" greeting as we walked in, welcoming us to the restaurant. We were seated at a booth (we bypassed the sushi bar) and handed warm towels to clean our hands before the meal. We were then served a tidbit of marinated cooked tuna as a starter. They meant business here for sure.

The large, cloth-bound menu is a bit daunting at first glance. Up front, it's all written in Japanese hiragana and kanji characters, but keep flipping through the pages and you get to the English text at the back. Several pages of appetizers include varieties of dumplings, noodle choices, and grilled and fried vegetables and meats. We chose a sampling before getting to the separate sushi menu.

We started with skewers of kushi katsu ($3.25) — deep fried pork and onion — and yakitori tare ($2.65) — grilled chicken and green onion. The pork was thick with batter and difficult to get off the skewer but warm and juicy, even better when dipped in the sweet, thick house katsu sauce. Unfortunately the yakitori weren't as successful. They were soon cold after arriving at the table and the teriyaki-like sauce in which they were basted lacked flavor. Yakitori skewers are fast, finger foods served out of huts all over Japan, and these American cousins were a disappointment. A cold dish of goma ae, boiled spinach with a sesame seed sauce, was great ($2.65) and was gobbled up quickly. Nikujaga ($3.85) was a pungent bowl of simmered beef, potatoes and onions in a sweet, soy-based sauce. It was a new selection for me and heavier than the other selections sampled.

Before the appetizers arrived, we ordered a tempura combo entree of shrimp and assorted vegetables($10.50). The combo came with a selection of miso soup as well as a salad. In addition, we also ordered a bowl of kake udon ($5.50), a soup stock of thick wheat noodles, sliced fish cake, seaweed and green onion. Thankfully neither the miso nor udon was too salty, as they sometimes can be, and were simple and satisfying.

The tempura was the tastiest thing ordered all evening. Selections of squash, sweet potato, zucchini and shrimp were battered and fried to a warm crispiness. Although the batter was light and flaky it was a little heavy-handed and had to be scraped off of some pieces to keep from being overwhelming. A mixture of soy sauce, daikon and ginger was served alongside for dipping and was an especially great compliment to the tempura vegetables.

With all the appetizers and entrees, we only left room for a few sushi rolls of spicy tuna, avocado and cucumber, and tempura shrimp ($2.95-$5). The rolls were excellent — fresh and moist — but not as prettily prepared as I expected from such an authentic establishment. Instead they were left a little sloppy and not perfectly formed. Despite the lack of attention to this detail, the sushi was still better than what most intown establishments put on their menu at higher prices.

After the server cleared away the many plates from the table she asked if we were ready for the final course of the meal — ice cream. The plain vanilla ice cream was served with a bit of red bean paste on top. The sweet addition of bean paste changed the whole composition of the ice cream, much as the restaurant has done for the surrounding neighborhood. Sushi Yoshi has taken a little bit of Japan and plopped it down in the middle of nowhere to make something from nothing.??



More By This Writer

Article

Thursday June 26, 2003 12:04 am EDT

"She's hot!" a co-worker remarks when he sees the press photo of Amber Taylor on my desk. Taylor's image is all moody and vamped-out. Her black, lacy top exposes her midriff. Her thinly plucked eyebrows and glossy lips are subtly sexy. Strange, I think for a moment. She looks a little like my sister.

But I know better. Amber Taylor's femmy, sexpot image is all a ruse. 'Cuz Amber's a man....

| more...

Article

Thursday June 19, 2003 12:04 am EDT

Veola Momon sits erect and alert. She cocks her head to one side and stares at me.

"Show me your hairline," she instructs. I push my bangs back and she looks to the left and the right of my forehead. "Did you know you're right-brained?"

Momon's not just making a wild guess. She's reading my face.

She's been studying the traits of eyes, nostrils and wrinkles for nearly 30 years and is a...

| more...

Article

Thursday June 12, 2003 12:04 am EDT
1. You know all the coy, flirting shit you learned to coax the sex of your liking into noticing you? It won't work inside the hallowed flesh halls. The point of tipping is to pay them to look at you. To keep them naked. To keep them close by. Looking bashful won't get you far.2. Find a table near the stage, but don't be too eager. There's a 100 percent guarantee there's gonna be naked people.... | more...

Article

Thursday June 12, 2003 12:04 am EDT

Be a Cracker for a day. No, not that kind of cracker. No one's slinging around epithets — this is baseball, not bad-mouthing.

The Crackers, Atlanta's original baseball team, played in Piedmont Park from 1902 to 1904. And a hundred years later, they're going to do it again.

Well, sort of. Replace the hardscrabble players of yesteryear with Hank Aaron, Dominique Wilkins and other local...

| more...

Article

Thursday June 12, 2003 12:04 am EDT



The same crowd always appears at a new nightclub. They may not be exactly the same people, but they all wear those trendy shoes, have great form-fitting black tops and expensive skirts and pants. They all seem to know one another, flashing their smiles, giving big hugs and air-kisses on cheeks.

Now that crowd has found Formosa.

Formosa doesn't have a sign out front. No neon lights. No...

| more...
Search for more by Jerry Portwood

[Admin link: Restaurant Review - Sushi Yoshi takes Norcross]

Spider for Restaurant Review - Sushi Yoshi takes Norcross