While prehistoric cultures revered those who could catch food as heroes, they regarded those who could cook food as hero-dwarfing deities. Take your place in the prehistoric pantheon with today's Groupon: for $45, you can choose between a sushi-making class or a Thai cooking class (a $90 value) at Fuji Hana Sushi Bar & Grill and Thai Peppers in Kennesaw.
Specializing in Asian fare for more than a decade, Fuji Hana and its attached sister restaurant, Thai Peppers, draw hungry crowds with fresh sushi, spicy Thai favorites, and hibachi prowess. On weekends, the restaurants' chefs crack open their neck-top knowledge modules to share their culinary cunning via hands-on cooking classes. Each class, lasting two–three hours, teaches students to build a menu that includes a soup, an appetizer, and an entree.
Begin with the studied art of making sticky sushi rice, and roll it up inside seaweed to form a tekka maki roll. Impress friends, coworkers, and nosy strangers with knowledge gleaned from the sushi class, such as the means of making one appetizer, five nigiri sushi, a maki roll, and a california roll. Or opt for the Thai class, where you'll learn to prepare a menu that might include coconut chicken soup or tom yum— an appetizer of a fresh basil roll or spring roll—an entree such as pad thai or curry, and other delicacies that have kept the country's ferocious but gluttonous dragons docile for centuries.
Classes top out at 20 people, and each class ends with students enjoying the fruits of their labors along with up to two beverages—including beer, sake, and nonalcoholic options. The classes generally produce a quantity of food too big to fit into 20 torso-cases at once, leaving a surplus that can be packed up and taken home.
Fuji Hana & Thai Peppers
Generations-old Thai family recipes and established Japanese cooking techniques continue to inspire the cooks at Fuji Hana & Thai Peppers. Hibachi chefs man the dining room's six tabletop grills and sear entire orders of scallops or filet mignon right in front of transfixed guests. Hibachi-grilled lobster tail even makes its way onto the restaurant's sushi menu, which includes 12 specialty maki selections that attempt to elevate sushi with sriracha sauce, dried cranberries, or cleverly disguised helium balloons. The Thai menu items remain more grounded in familiar flavor combinations, such as spicy basil fried rice and panang curry with coconut milk and dried chilies.
The colorful cuisine stands in stark contrast to the deep, soothing earth tones that fill the dining room. Hand-laid mosaic tiles complement the dark leather booths, and a 31-foot oak bar surrounds the sushi chefs and bartenders as they dexterously assemble orders.