Flashing knives and spurting flames dazzle diners as the chefs at Kuma Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar theatrically sear entrees on the tabletop hibachi grills. Equally comfortable with cooking vegetables and meats, the chefs can shuffle a number of them across the grill's iron surface, including scallops, chicken, or filet mignon. Meanwhile, the sushi chefs gingerly slice pieces of fresh salmon and tuna behind their bar—unlike traditional bartenders, who rarely slice bottles into neat sections. Their work does not stop there, however, because they also carefully layer orders of salmon nigiri that can emerge alongside a familiar or inventive sushi roll, which arrives in either six or eight bite-sized pieces.
Kane Yama's cooks fire up tableside hibachi grills to create healthy, authentic Japanese dishes and serve fresh eats from a full sushi bar. The menu boasts an eclectic number of steakhouse standbys and tongue-taming sharable sushi rolls, such as the fresh tuna tekka maki ($6) or the Oh My God roll ($15)—a combination of chili sauce and three different fishes that elicits involuntary OMGs from otherwise staid diners. Hibachi meals harness the timeless power of food-preparing heat with your choice of chicken, filet mignon, seafood, or a double dose of veggies. Each lunch comes with soup, salad, vegetables, and steamed rice ($7–$14), and dinner hibachi plates ($14–$28) also throw in a shrimp appetizer.
Green Ginger's sushi chefs wrap up dozens of traditional and specialty sushi rolls as wok gurus elegantly prepare a plethora of Asian entrees from Japan, Thailand, and China. Fillings such as spicy salmon, red snapper, and snow crab nestle within sushi and sashimi rolls, and tender morsels of beef or tofu decorate teriyaki and fried-rice entrees. Fully stocked bars produce an arsenal of cocktails blended with top-notch sake and liquors from brands such as Grey Goose, Kahlua, and Malibu.
At the Peachtree City location, flame masters showcase their spatula-wielding finesse behind a lively hibachi grill inside a glossy eatery with tile floors and blond wood wall accents. At the Decatur locale, live jazz plays on Saturday nights, muted blue lighting stretches across two bars, and a covered patio shields guests from rain and year-round visits from abominable snowmen.
Within the cozy confines of Thai & Sushi's scarlet-walled eatery, taste buds can surf the fusion of flavors surging through a menu teeming with traditional Thai dishes and Japanese-style sushi platters. Tuna, salmon, shrimp, crab, and masago snuggle in a blanket of avocado and soy nori bedded down in the pineapple-slathered Hawaiian roll ($11.95). Olympic-medaled vegetable rolls lithely springboard from a platform of cucumber, avocado, asparagus, inari, and shiitake mushrooms into awaiting mouth caverns ($8) and pad thai chicken roosts in a spicy nest of rice noodles ($9.75). The sweet aroma of fresh ginger mingles with the sizzling serenade of chicken, beef, or pork and a garden-torn quartet of onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, and expatriated lawn gnomes ($9.95).
Taking inspiration from his grandmothers, Justin Cox has always loved cooking. He launched his official culinary career when he was just 15, and over the years, he's worked under acclaimed chefs, including two James Beard–award nominees. When he joined the team at Thrive, he created a menu of New American dishes heavily inspired by global influences, especially Asian fusion cuisine, and started buying fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables from local farmers whenever he could. And this pursuit has paid off—Gayot credits Cox's connections with the fact that his tomato salad "reveals how close the notable vegetable can come to nirvana." In Thrive's kitchen, Cox and his culinary team whip up starters of braised short ribs wrapped in bibb lettuce alongside a selection of sushi, nigiri, and sashimi. They follow that with dishes ranging from classic, such as a fillet of beef tenderloin, to playful, such as scallops and grits with bacon, fennel, pea-shoot salad, and a citrus vinaigrette.
The menu's sophistication is matched by the striking modern dining room designed by architect Bill Johnson. Amber-tinged light spills from the honeycomb ceiling structure lofted above high-backed dining chairs and stark white walls, set off by accents of green print. Zebra-wood barstools helpfully suggest their favorite drinks in the lounge area, where white leather couches invite diners to settle in with a drink.
Zuma Sushi & Sake Bar's chefs slice ocean-fresh seafood before hungry eyes at an open bar, spotlighting the skill necessary to create artfully innovative and traditional sushi preparations. With the freshest, suntan-free fish, the team arranges sushi, maki, and sashimi on plates, constructing aesthetically mesmerizing meals that edify palates and inspire patrons to hang a frame around their mouth in anticipation. Creativity abounds in distinctive maki creations such as the bagel roll, which brims with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and avocado, and chefs demonstrate their knowledge of the tried and true with a classic salmon roll. Throughout their meal, guests can complement the Eastern flavors rolling across their tongue with sips of hot and cold sake, sights of paper lanterns hanging over dining room, and translation of the characters painted on the walls. Guests also lunch all-you-can-eat sushi for $15.