At most restaurants, diners can order a meal cooked however they want it. At some spots, you can let the chef take the lead, usually in the form of a tasting menu. Some restaurants, like the west Midtown sushi hot spot O-Ku, offer both types of dining.
Of course, most people aren’t going to spring for the $100-per-person omakase on a regular basis, but O-Ku does provide a second option. For just $40, the sushi and sashimi moriwasa is like a miniature omakase, delivered in a single course. Selected by the chef, the moriwasa (also spelled moriawase elsewhere) includes 12 pieces of sashimi, or six pieces each of sashimi and nigiri. This represents a great value at a restaurant where sushi pieces cost an average of $4 each, and can range as high as $16.
The moriwasa plate also gives the diner a glimpse of what the restaurant deems the best, most balanced offering of its current sushi selection. Because of the constantly changing roster of fish available, based on the season and supply, each moriwasa order is a snapshot of a particular moment at O-Ku. The pictured selection includes sashimi of hamachi, madai (sea bream) and maguro (tuna), and such nigiri as sake (salmon) with paddlefish roe and a heavenly signature piece with otoro (fatty tuna) and uni.
While no two moriwasa plates will be the same, they each provide a sense of excitement and discovery. That feeling is why chef-guided tasting menus tend to dominate at the highest levels of fine dining, but O-Ku makes the experience accessible in a more affordable fashion.
O-Ku. 1085 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-500-2383. o-kusushiatl.com.
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