Miso Izakaya was one of two high profile izakaya that opened in 2009, and of the two, had the longer gestation period into a critically regarded restaurant. It had been on my radar for some time, but my weekends had been dominated by Friday night maintenance issues, and I hadn’t been in condition to crawl the city on Saturdays until recently. ¬†Finally, timing and circumstances allowed my family to get there, and I’m very glad the three of us went. It was a terrific place to take my family.

It’s about a mile further from Snellville than is Fox Brothers Barbecue, and the route, via Google Maps, is that nasty, difficult, winding through small roads Google Maps has anyone from Snellville do to get to Fox Brothers. About a mile further down DeKalb Avenue, you turn right at Krog, and then left on Edgewood. Miso ends up on your left.

Miso is smaller than I expected it to be, and has a smaller menu than I expected as well. Staff? Asian, but seemingly pretty multicultural. We arrived between 6 and 7 and I was dreading a 30 to 45 minute wait. Nothing of the sort happened. We were seated immediately. A crowd was developing as we left.

Miso's onigiri are terrific. After the first, we ordered a second.

Pickles (oshinko).

corn kariage was a pleasant surprise.

The menu fits on two side of a place mat, and is pretty versatile. Starters, salads, entrees, seafood dishes, tofu and vegetable dishes are some of the categories offered. We started with a wakame salad, edamame, onigiri, oshinko, and corn kariage, the closest thing we could find to traditional tempura.

wakame salad

Later we ordered an assortment of sushi.

Sushi. California roll and some nigiri.

Entrees included quail (excellent!), skirt steak, and tonkatsu. We later ordered a salmon skin salad, and fried oysters to end the meal.

Quail here are a fine dish.

Skirt steak

Tonkatsu. Smaller serving but very high quality.

Our waiter was excellent, the best staffer we’ve had in a while.

Impressions? Though the menu here is relatively small, it’s very creative, and Guy Wong’s interpretation of common dishes often yields unexpected surprises, things like salmon skin in the onigiri, green tea salt as a dipping spice, or the tiny circles of Thai pepper in the quail, perfectly sized to not overwhelm. There are small touches throughout the menu, and it has the feel of someone who tinkers and experiments with food. Dish names can be multicultural puns (i.e. green tomato katsu), and there is a playfulness that pervades the whole dining experience. To drag up a word that’s often overused in food blogging, Miso Izakaya is a lot of fun, and the joy of the unexpected small detail is going to be the engine that drives people to come here again and again.

Miso Izakaya
619 Edgewood Ave Southeast
Atlanta, GA 30312
(678) 701-0128

Miso Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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