Omnivore - Rain opens in South of France space

I checked out the new Rain (2345 Cheshire Bridge Road, 404-325-6963) this week. Located in the former South of France space, Rain calls itself an "Asian fusion" restaurant. I didn't find it very "fusion" in the usual sense that dishes blend styles and ingredients of different cultures. Basically, the menu is Thai and Japanese with an emphasis on sushi.

The standout dish was the chef's special, called "Four Seasons" (top photo) — hamachi, spicy tuna, conch, and lobster salad — clear, fresh flavors with interesting garnishes. I also enjoyed the "crazy roll" (above), a salmon-skin roll with eel and avocado.

I'm including a shot of my entree (left) as an example of how not to present a dish. This, as far as I could tell, was the only true fusion dish on the menu — a soft-shell crab with a sauce filled with larblike minced chicken, veggies and Indian-style curry seasonings. The crab itself was fine, but the sauce was truly an exercise in excess.

More in next week's paper.

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