In a word, Bishoku is graceful. It’s graceful by the standards of the Japanese restaurants in Atlanta, which is a fairly competitive and high standard. It has all the apparently effortless grace I’ve seen in the work of my Japanese professors and coworkers, postdoctoral colleagues and research scientists, who would work so brutally, amazingly hard to achieve this apparently effortless grace. It’s an aesthetic, not quite yûgen but aspiring to be, and perhaps at its best, it is.
It took four tries over two months to actually make it to Bishoku, twice arriving too late, once arriving on time, but on a Monday. There being only one of me I sat at the sushi bar, which centers the restaurant, a square that all the rest of the seating is built around. Service here is exceptional. My impression is that this is a perceptive and smart staff. They can be flattering too, as when they complimented me on how I handled chopsticks. And yes, I can shovel rice with the best of them, but I have an unorthodox grip.
Still, if you let the staff do what they are supposed to do, and relax a little, then you can appreciate the little details that make a meal here memorable, as well as the craft that goes into the food they create here. For one, I seldom run into a bowl for miso that is made of wood, complimented by an equally wooden spoon. Usually both are porcelain.
The chirashi sushi I had was topped by a nice collection of fish, visually appealing and tasty, with interesting flavor and texture contrasts. But more so, with off white pickled ginger on one side,and shavings of daikon in the middle, under the fish there were two semicircles of pickled daikon on the other side, just to help cleanse the palate. It was a nice touch.
I also ordered gyoza, which were nicely done. To finish, there was an apple tart. Thin sliced apple covered just a bit of cinnamon and sugar. The overall effect was heavenly, one of the best things I ate that day.
Verdict: Graceful restaurant with very good food and superb staff. Very Highly Recommended.
5920 Roswell Road Suite B-111
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Notes: There is a
fine must read review by Blissful Glutton of this restaurant. The tart was a freebie, but my opinion of this restaurant was made long before the tart arrived.