First Look: Fuji Hana

The newly opened Fuji Hana/Thai Peppers near Town Center is like three restaurants under one roof, offering Japanese-style teppanyaki cooking, plus sushi and traditional Thai menus.

The look: Chef/owner Nick Chompoonich and his family, who are partners in several other Japanese and Thai restaurants in Atlanta and Miami, took on a complete redesign of a free-standing space on George Busbee Parkway. The stylish main dining room features mosaic tile, cozy leather booths and a stretch sushi-meets-cocktail bar. In back, there are two separate semiprivate rooms with hibachi tables.

The scene: One recent evening, every section and station of the restaurant was bustling, with sushi chefs slicing and rolling at the bar, teppanyaki chefs showing off their knife skills and entertaining tableside, and a crew of energetic young servers working the dining room.

The menu: Chompoonich’s sprawling menu mixes Japanese favorites, Thai classics and fusion dishes. Ahi poke ($10.70) blends cubed yellowfin tuna, avocado, mango, ponzu and kimchee sauce. Thai-style scallop crudo ($11.70) is flavored with Thai basil, bird chili, extra-virgin olive oil, fish sauce and lemon. Of course, there’s the likes of nam tok salad ($9.50), Pad Thai ($11.95) and massaman curry ($13.95). Hibachi dinner entrees include everything from chicken ($15.95) to lobster tails ($35.95) and come with an appetizer, soup, salad, mixed vegetables, rice and dessert.

The drinks: Atlanta sommelier Harry Constantinescu consulted on a by-the-glass or bottle wine list designed to pair with Asian flavors. Chompoonich has selected some 20 varieties of saki, as well as Japanese and Thai beers, and he plans to add American craft beers to the menu soon.

The extras: Look for bargain-priced sushi, teriyaki and Thai lunch combos every day, along with a hibachi lunch menu and the Fuji Hana Kennesaw dollar sushi menu.

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