My Favorite Restaurants

I'm asked quite a bit about what restaurants I like the best - of course it's not that easy as I like many, many different cuisines AND some of the reasons I like specific restaurants may not be obvious. In any case, here's a list and a why - click the title to see my review.

Japanese Cuisine

JINYA Ramen Bar - Sandy Springs GA
The garlic infused West-Coast spin on Japanese ramen will have you reeling. Add a bit of gochujang for the extra spice punch. Too good.

Minato Japanese Restaurant - Smyrna GA
This sushi restaurant has the best fish I've had on Atlanta's west side - they also have some interesting creations that are worth trying like Cowboy Hat. Ask if they have fresh scallop - it's worth it, also the Himachi Jaw.

Nakato Japanese Restaurant - Atlanta GA
Atlanta's oldest hibachi restaurant has a really fantastic sushi bar with the best fish. It's centrally located on Cheshire Bridge Rd with free valet. Everything about this restaurant, from the sushi, the traditional Japanese like sukiyaki, to the hibachi are all top-notch.

Mediterranean Cuisine

Rumi's Kitchen - Persian - Sandy Springs GA
I can wax poetic on this fine restaurant all day. It's the one place I've taken any mix of people, many who complain about the typical, hum-drum Mediterranean restaurant and they get an instant liking to Rumi's. It's also my favorite special-occasion restaurant - either celebrating special occasions or when executives are visiting and I feel magnanimous. Don't let too many people know about this place, though and keep it our little secret? My favorite items are the Sea Bass and Shish Kabob. I love the really awesome Kubideh  wrap (comes with a side salad) they serve for lunch - it's very reasonably priced and you get a lot of food (it's also fairly light). There's also two must-have dips - the Kashk Badenjoon (fried eggplant) and the Mirza Ghasemi (smoked eggplant).

Aladdin's Mediterranean Grill and Deli - Northridge off Hwy 400
In a word, fantastic. For all the reasons that Rumi's is my favorite, it's all about the bounty of fresh food, flavor combinations, quantity and price when it comes to Aladdin's. With Rumi's you get fine dining, with Aladdin you order at the counter and enjoy more of a deli-like experience. My favorite items: Chicken Tawook and Lamb Kabob platters - love the Jerusalem salad and fresh pita. Make sure you ask for the hot sauce - it's very flavorful and not exceptionally hot - goes with everything!

Cafe Sababa - North Shallowford Rd in Dunwoody
The owner of this small Mediterranean restaurant used to be in the Jewish Community Center - I'd call the food "near Kosher" - the best things on the menu: Llintel soup, Leg-of-lamb sandwich (usually served daily until they run out), Vegetarian Sampler (Falafels are very good). It's relatively inexpensive and the quality is very high.

Mediterranean Bakery and Grocery - Chamblee-Tucker and I285
This is a lunch counter inside a grocery store (seems Turkish by the products and hookahs) - the food here is terrific and very no-frills. You order at the counter and your number is called as the food is prepared. My favorites are the Chicken Shawarma (love the garlic spread) and the Falafel platters - make sure in either you get the baba ganoush (smokey, delicious). Very inexpensive and high quality.


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