Buckhead has an abundance of sushi restaurants and now another has joined the ranks, moving into the Buckhead Atlanta development a few months ago. Doraku Sushi is a small national chain from Kevin Aoki, the son of Benihana founder Rocky Aoki, with only a few locations in select cities like Waikiki and Miami, where the concept originated.
It’s a breathtaking space, dominated by wood in many forms, from the thick blocks used to create the tabletops to a Buddha’s face intricately carved from a tree’s base and roots. Paper lanterns add an element of lightness.
Modeled after a Japanese izakaya, Doraku boasts an extensive list of specialty cocktails and sake. The food menu focuses on traditional Japanese rolls, nigiri, sashimi, and playful specialty rolls, along with a variety of shareable cold and hot plates.
My friend LS joined me there for a complimentary media dinner. We arrived in time for happy hour, so both of us tried a half-price specialty cocktail. Mine was called Hinode “Sunrise”, a balanced blend of blood orange, spiced rum, lemon, agave, vanilla liqueur, shaken with an egg white for a frothy effect.
Our server recommended an off-menu dish of roasted Brussels sprouts to start. Topped with pickled shallots and drizzled with a sweet Asian sauce, LS and I couldn’t stop eating them. Two small sushi rolls, one with yellowtail and jalapeno and another with eel and avocado, were beautifully presented and quickly devoured, although we had hoped the yellowtail jalapeno roll would be spicier.
Always a fan of cold unfiltered sake, I chose a bottle of Kikusui Perfect Snow, a smooth, milky beverage with a hint of almond. Our server poured some into a tiny sake glass telling me that it is bad luck to pour your own…who knew? We decided to try two more dishes, the tuna poke-zuke sashimi tacos and the herb roasted duck with sweet miso.
Diced sashimi-grade tuna was marinated, then served inside crispy wontons formed into mini taco shells. Each one was topped with a little shiso guacamole, and yuzu tomato salsa added just the right amount of acidity to this light and tasty dish.
But I was even more impressed with the duck, a substantial thigh and leg portion with succulent meat beneath the crispy skin. The duck rested on a bed of green onions that were grilled and drizzled with sweet miso sauce, a perfect combination of savory and sweet flavors that can only be described as umami.
267 E. Paces Ferry Road 404-842-0006