265 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, 404-815-8844, www.mfsushibar.com .
The slick digs and power-lunch players belie what’s behind the success of this Midtown wonder: some of the freshest, best-made sushi in the city, second only to its sister spot, MF Buckhead. The crunch of nori wrapped around a hand roll with crispy salmon skin or spicy tuna gives a palpable sense of quality to sushi in Atlanta, as do any of the well-procured and cut fish.
Taka Sushi Café
385 Pharr Road N.E., Atlanta, 404-869-2802, www.takasushiatlanta.com
For years, Takao Moriuchi has combined the art and tradition of sushi making with the showmanship Americans demand. Maybe the Diet Coke roll and the Italian roll seem a little kitschy for the sushi purist, but you can’t argue with taste. And Takao gives loads of that — from traditional cold appetizers to Japanese dishes hard to find elsewhere. The restaurant doesn’t just master sushi — the menu spans many Japanese treasures, from kanisu to dumplings, plus a nine-course omakase menu.
Tomo Japanese Restaurant
256 Cobb Parkway (in Riverview Shopping Center), 770-690-0555, www.tomorestaurant.com
I’m not sure white truffle oil, siracha and cilantro were destined for a traditional Japanese menu, but chef-owner Tom Naito has brought them together in a karmic cataclysm of tastes that make the Philadelphia roll look like maki purism. Sometimes traditional, sometimes oddly mixed with French and Italian influences, the menu here is a wild ride of tastes. Even more odd, it works.
Sushi House Hayakawa not yet rated
5979 Buford Highway, Atlanta, 770-986-0010, www.atlantasushibar.com
If you’re looking for a sushi find, you just found it. This BuHi spot turns taste buds with its expertly cut, super fresh fish, but behind the sushi is a traditional Japanese menu of family-style favorites. Look for a review in the AJC’s Go Guide soon.