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Ethnic.City: Lunch at Taka

posted on September 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Taka Sushi Café (385 Pharr Road, 404-869-2802, www.takasushiatlanta.com) is a curious restaurant. People either love it or hate it, and I speak as someone who wasn’t initially impressed with the Buckhead Japanese restaurant. When I moved back to Atlanta from San Francisco — long before I blogged or wrote professionally about food — my parents suggested I eat at Taka. I didn’t like it. However, my family urged me to return with them to give it another shot. I was so glad I did. While I was living in California, my family had formed a good relationship with the chef. As a result, my visit with them was infinitely better. While dining there, we encountered many more obscure dishes and new flavor combinations than I had on my solo visit. Now, Taka is a place I go to eat alone at the bar, the food I crave when I’m under the weather (the fresh ginger and honey tea will change your life), and a restaurant I visit when I want to eat clean, interesting food.

Taka, like many neighborhood Japanese restaurants, is the sort of place where your experience varies depending on how much interaction you have with the chef. It seems unfair that you can’t just duck into a corner unnoticed, but you will have a considerably better experience if you engage the people who make your food. It’s a matter of appreciation for appreciation; recognition for recognition.

Taka recently started offering lunch service, which means I can feed my addiction to all things Japanese during lunchtime — a notoriously hard hour to find clean Japanese food, especially in Buckhead.

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