Mouthful - Asian noodles
What low-key Pho Tan-Tan lacks in charm, it makes up for with aromatic broths, comforting noodle bowls and quick, gracious service. Mi quang, a beautifully presented rice noodle dish, offers a host of flavors and textures, from the licorice bite of Thai basil to tender sliced beef and the subtle tanginess of banana blossom. The bun mang vit, a rich, ducky broth with rice noodles and a raft of bamboo shoots, is paired with a salad of shredded cabbage, slices of duck, fried onions and ground peanuts with basil and mint. 4646 Buford Highway, Chamblee. 770-455-9474.
East Atlanta Thai & Sushi
This lively spot feels like a bar with its evocative lighting, continually packed space and young bohemian crowd. Yet it's not so loud or rowdy that you'd feel guilty bringing youngins here. The mouth-searing drunken noodles are dark, rich and satisfying — chock-a-block with slices of white meat chicken, a tangle of caramelized onions and sweet, pungent peppers. Plenty of chili lends a thrilling burn, and basil contributes an ethereal anise bite. 467 Flat Shoals Ave., East Atlanta. 404-522-5992.
Yanmi Yanmi labels itself as "Japanese fast food," but the eatery is owned by a Chinese family, resulting in an offbeat but appealing fusion. Tomato and egg noodle soup is custardy with flowery swirls of egg and chunky with fresh tomato. Rich and tart, it's perhaps the largest quantity of food $5.50 will buy. The hearty offerings stray far away from delicate Japanese cuisine, but they're undeniably delicious and Chinese cheap, a delight to people of all cultures. 5385-B New Peachtree Road (Chinatown Square food court), Chamblee. 678-779-9238.