August 2011


Joey D’s is a classic steakhouse, claiming components of Italian, Cajun, and New York steakhouse heritage. Inside, it’s very pretty with white shirted waiters everywhere, and plenty of metal, wood, and glass. Seating is fine, the restaurant is well lit. The ‘L’ shaped bar has shelves that extend 20 feet off the floor, full of liquor. Those of you that have seen the ladder routine at Leon’s Full Service in Decatur will be at home here.

I came in for lunch, looking for something I could have that wouldn’t bust a lunch budget. Steaks here are in the 20s, so they wouldn’t do. I settled for a filet mignon sandwich, some mussels and a salad.

The salad was good. The mussels I had were also good, with an excellent marinara.
But the star of the evening were the two small circles of filet mignon in the sandwich. They were cooked a perfect medium rare, seared outside, and as tender as can be inside. The meat was perfect.

Joey D’s Oak Room
1015 Crown Pointe Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30338
(770) 512-7063

Joey D's Oak Room on Urbanspoon

My mother-in-law is Japanese, my wife is half. Feeding a Japanese party the right way isn’t a hypothetical in my household, it’s a fact of life. To that end I’m better off when the restaurant is capable of serving the components of a formal Japanese meal, than I am with a sushi and ramen shack on steroids.

tsukemono

edamame

pork curry

Waraku Japanese Restaurant thus has a virtue most foodies and/or bloggers in Atlanta aren’t appreciative of, the idea that a full blown traditional Japanese dinner could be constructed from their menu. Waraku has an 8 page menu, and it’s not a collection of Decatur and Cobb County rolls. Instead, every major cooking technique in Shizuo Tsuji’s masterpiece “Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art” is represented. Grilled foods, pan fried foods, steamed foods, simmered foods, salads, noodle dishes, pickles are all here. Perhaps the only missing major component is nabemono, and nabemono requires such specialized staff to do right that very few restaurants try to do it anymore.

spicy squid circles

Japanese pepper kushiyaki

California roll bento box, with tonkatsu and vegetable tempura.

A good grilled mackerel can be had at Waraku.

The trendy folk will hang out at the Midtown sushi houses and the occasional ramen-ya, and try and convince themselves they’re seeing it all and know it all when it comes to Japanese food. Meanwhile, real Japanese, and a somewhat more modest population will find this place, recognize Waraku for the value it represents, and realize this is an inexpensive gem of an eatery on the edge of town.

custard after dinner

To note, this restaurant is not that easy to see from the street (it’s far back, in the same strip mall where Spiced Right is found) and the only sign that it is there are a few kanji and the word ‘Sushi’ by the street. So yes, get out Mapquest or Google Maps and locate this place. It’s not the easiest to see, but the quality of the food for the price you pay? Well worth it.

Waraku Japanese Restaurant
3131 Lawrenceville Suwanee Road
Suwanee, GA 30024
(678) 889-4188

Waraku Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

PS – I want to thank my reader Coko for telling me about this place. If you have never read Coko, I’d strongly recommend reading her comment to this article.

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