Today, it seems as if there’s a sushi bar on every corner. This wasn’t so 23 years ago when business partners Jennifer Chong and Don Tsunafuji opened Mt. Fuji Restaurant on Cobb Parkway near the Big Chicken. At that time, consumption of raw fish was considered way edgy eating by Atlanta standards.
While the 7000-square foot restaurant relied heavily on what I call the “hibachi grill thrill” to pay the bills, the sushi bar quietly built a small cult-like following of hardcore sushi enthusiasts.
After failed lease negotiations with the landlord, Chong and Tsunafuji recently closed Mt. Fuji and opened a cozy sushi bar called Sushinobo In Vinings (4500 West Village Ste 1005, Smyrna, 678.401.7322), serving high quality sushi, some traditional Japanese dishes, and yakitori (dinner only). Those expecting no-handed high flying shrimp acts and other cheesy hibachi trickery will be disappointed. No hibachi grills here.
We dropped in for a quick lunch and were pleasantly surprised. We started with the sashimi appetizer (picture above) consisting of buttery yellowtail, silky to the bite salmon and tuna — 3 generous cuts of each. Every single piece of fish was fantastic quality.
Being that we had such luck with fish quality, we deemed it safe to give uni a try. Everything you’d expect from fresh uni — creamy mouthfeel, beautiful briny nuances and sweet undertones.
Katsudon arrived a giant soulful bowl of “down home” Japanese comfort food, a panko fried pork cutlet served over rice and caramelized onions, with a lightly cooked creamy egg over the top.
Tempura Udon (Nabeyaki), another Japanese comfort food, is a worthy version. The panko covered shitake mushroom was nothing short of ethereal.
With the miso soup, though good, being the only non-spectacular item we sampled, I look forward to trying more sushi, and giving the yakitori a test drive.