Joli-Kobe Bakery and Cafe has been around since 1985, long enough that I wonder if we haven’t taken it for granted in the wave of new ethnic bakeries throughout Atlanta. This eatery is in the Prado, on Roswell Road south of 285, next to Kobe Steaks and the original 5 Seasons Brewery location. I’ve been around this place since Books Japan had a location nearby. The whole area is totally different, though, from the Books Japan period. The large parking lot is gone, replaced by a Publix and a strip mall. What parking remains is all marked with “two hours maximum” signs. It makes you wonder how people that work in the Prado ever park.
The bakery is immaculate, so pretty I always had trouble getting my family to go. But the cafe, heavy on European influenced dishes, did have a dish called Hayashi rice, and that intrigued me. It was only open for lunch, so I had to come during work or on a weekend. I came during work, and my experience was good enough my family asked to try it themselves. So what I’m going to describe is the experience of a couple visits, plus some time spent roaming Joli-Kobe’s excellent bakery.
The first time I came, I was also served bread. Joli-Kobe’s bread is excellent, chewy and crusty and I recall asking for seconds.
Joli-Kobe’s Hayashi rice is also a terrific dish, a kind of beef stew. The sauce has a very rich flavor: beef, mushrooms and onions are the main elements. The sauce is so potent that you almost need the rice to moderate it.
Afterwards, I had a trio of small desserts. I think they cost about $3.00 total. One of the joys of Joli-Kobe are the relatively inexpensive desserts. In a town where certain bakeries think nothing of offering a $5.00 fruit tart, Joli-Kobe has smaller desserts that cost 95 cents, and quite a few decent sized desserts that cost less than $2.00. The range of cost options is exceptional.
On our second visit my wife had a sandwich with a fruit salad, and I had their lunch box.
The sandwich was made with an excellent bread, the fruit was tasty and fresh and the lunch box.. the soup was a blue crab bisque and very rich and creamy, the mussels were good, the bit of mozzarella and tomato tasty, and the Hayashi rice was once again excellent, with rich beef, mushroom, and onion flavors.
Verdict: Good cafe, excellent and inexpensive bakery. Excellent service. Very Highly Recommended.
Joli-Kobe Bakery and Cafe
In the Prado Shopping Center
5600 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30342