September 26, 2009 at 11:43 am , by Serina Patrick
First of all, my feelings about eating inferior sushi are about the same as drinking an O’Douls (alcohol free) beer….why bother? Diners that like the sushi at Ra probably think Trader Joe’s wine is pretty good too. Sad.
MF Buckhead is truly the only sushi in Atlanta worth eating. Check out my interview with Chris Kinjo in Atlanta’s Finest Dining last year. After dining there, all other sushi pales in comparison. So, I was not too excited to go to Ra last night, but it was with my friend AD and a fun group of girls and I thought I would give it a try.
Having read Cliff Bostock’s review in Creative Loafing recently, I already had a preconceived notion that it would probably suck. Oh, and it’s a chain. Even less impressive.
Taking advantage of an evening without rain, our group of 8 sat on the large patio. We started with edamame and I ordered a cold nigori sake from their extensive list. So far, so good. But Ra is more about fun than food. The atmosphere is festive, the location is close to midtown’s clubs and bars, so the crowd was young and trendy. I saw a lot of familiar faces.
Some of the girls ordered salads, others tried rolls. There are plenty of creative, Americanized sushi-esque appetizers and entrees. AD ordered the Tunacado which we thought was a roll but was simply thin sliced sub-par tuna and avocado with a creamy ponzu dipping sauce. The website claims the fish is flown in fresh daily….really? Ironically, I did not order anything raw at Ra but rather opted for smoked salmon and unagi (eel) nigiri. Both passable. I also tried the pork potstickers. The frozen ones at Whole Foods are better.
Service was a little off but, again, passable. The girls seemed to enjoy their food. Perhaps they are not sushi snobs like me, and that’s OK. The menu is extensive and this was just one visit but chances are the next time I crave sushi I will be ordering the amazing melt-in-your-mouth kampachi and the kickass duck or seabass from the robata grill at MF Buckhead.
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