The amount of quality sushi in Buckhead has exploded over the past 12 – 18 months with the move of Tomo, the opening of Umi, and now another high – end entrant to the market has emerged. Doraku, with outposts in Miami and Hawaii quietly opened on East Paces Ferry, just past Capital Grill, a few weeks back and it’s gorgeous.
I didn’t take a ton of interior shots, but this place is massive, with soaring 15 ft ceilings and several seating areas, including a sushi bar and an actual liquor bar…quite a departure from most sushi spots, but this is Buckhead so I guess a bar fits? The service was knowledge, attentive and seamed generally happy to be there, but was not Japanese which is also a little different from most other spots in town. The food was solid; a mix of sushi and Japanese small plates like 72 hour miso cod, which was really good and had a consistency of room temperature butter…I would order this every visit!
They have the usual nigiri and sashimi options as well as a selection of signature rolls that were actually quite good, if rolls are your thing; they usually aren’t for me. However, my company wanted rolls so rolls we had, and they were damn good. The first was a Kagu Tsuchi, or “God of Fire” which was spicy tuna topped w/ tuna sashimi, jalapeno and habanero masago…great heat, but not overpowering.
Up next was a selection from their “Seven Lucky Gods” section of the menu that included tuna and avocado topped with eel and red tobiko (flying fish roe); couldn’t remember the official name, and it’s not listed on their website.
Last up was a tuna tataki plated over a julienne of daikon and sweet onions seasoned with wakame (seaweed), ponzu and daikon seeds…the tuna was good, but I could have eaten a whole plate of the salad alone.
So what’s not to like…the prices; usually my sushi meals don’t get to pricey if I stay away from individual nigiri and sashimi selections, but with most items at $12 – $15+ the tab can get out of hand quickly, that and they (at the time) did not have a lunch menu…Our server recommended three dishes a person; we ordered two each, could have eaten more, but even with that, and drinking water, the bill came in at ~ $65 before tip…that’s a little steep for lunch. Doraku should go over well with the well-healed dinner crowd, as the food and service are spot on, but they need some more approachable price points if they expect to be open long for lunch.