I am a big fan of Japanese food and have been to a lot of places in and around Atlanta. One thing I’ve never had though, is sushi. This was a new venture for me and it was a pleasant surprise when we were invited to try out this recently new restaurant in Buckhead.
Katana Teppanyaki & Sushi Restaurant is a recently new restaurant located in Buckhead on Lenox Rd. not far from Lenox Mall and The Ritz. Katana has three different experiences that one can have (Dining Room, Teppanyaki Room and Katana Bar). Each is definitely worth trying out, but my companion and I were fortunate to try the Teppanyaki Room complete with our own personal chef.
Whenever I go to a restaurant, I take three things into account of what I want from the experience, especially when I recommend it to other people: Ambience, Service, and Food. These three criteria are commonly used in the food critic world and cover a broad view of the experience. Ambience and Service are usually what most people can share, but food is obviously objective and I can only tell what I experienced. Also, you will be surprised by the price that you may pay for here. For each category, I will grade it and average it all out in a final score.
When I check out a restaurant for its ambience, I look for how it characterizes itself. Katana is a Japanese Teppanyaki (Steakhouse) and I usually would think of Japanese art, writing, and even a Katana (a sword used by samurai in feudal Japan). I also look for cleanliness of the restaurant as well.
In the service category, I look for how friendly not only our server is, but even others that may not be attending to us. I tend to try to see how much the server knows about the product of which we may ask about and what they would recommend. Also with this being a Teppanyaki, I want to see how friendly our skilled chefs are and how they are outgoing of a personality they will present.
In the food category, I look for how simple the menus are, the freshness of the food and the presentation of the food.
Upon pulling up to Katana, I was very impressed with the look of the restaurant from outside. It looked a modern version of a Japanese house with huge windows. It also looked like a very spacious restaurant, which translate well to the inside. The inside was inspired by Japanese art and decorations, which of course adds to the theme of the restaurant. It also looked very exceptionally clean as well for a Friday night. The time that we arrived, which was 8:00 p.m., it was prime time for being busy, but was kept up very nicely and I was immediately impressed. Before our experience, we shared a drink at the full bar that they offered. When I say full bar, I mean FULL BAR. Separating the dining room and Teppanyaki room is a wall full of alcohol and liquors that you can see from anywhere in the restaurant. While we waited for our Teppanyaki experience to be prepared, my companion had a glass of UNO Malbec Argentine Red Wine and I had a Two-Hearted Ale.
Ambience = 9
When our experience was ready, we were shown to our seats at the grill. Just finishing up his experience was Demarre Carrol from the Atlanta Hawks. To find out, he is a regular at Katana. Also, it is a hot spot for other celebrities in town like Waka Flocka, Selena Gomez, Shaq, Linkin Park, Kate Bosworth and others. Don’t be surprised if you meet someone famous there.
The service that we received was amazing beyond belief. Each server that came by us greeted my companion and myself with a smile. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about everything on the menu. Since I am a newbie to sushi, he broke down what each sushi was and what he recommended. He was also very well-informed of when the fresh fish comes in and what makes them different from other Japanese restaurants. The chefs that cooked our food were very funny and kept the conversations going with all of us at the grill. The other servers that came by even were nice enough to check on us as well, even though they were not tending to us. One young man also refilled our drinks for us constantly, which was also nice to see.
Service = 9
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Now, the food was absolutely amazing! For it being my first time ever trying sushi, I absolutely loved it. I’ve never been the type to try raw food, but this might end up swaying me to doing so. One of the sushi that was recommended for people who are new to sushi (like myself) was the Madai Japanese Red Snapper. The Salmon absolutely melts in your mouth and requires minimum chewing. We also tried the “Bora Bora” which was made of Spicy Tuna that had a kick to it, especially with the Jalapeño added on top. My companion and I was curious on how fresh the fish are that they receive and our server informed us that the fish is flown in fresh twice a week from overseas (Every Monday and Thursday). The Salmon is flown in fresh from New Zealand and the Tuna comes from Japan. The main dish that I had was the Organic Chicken “Springer Mountain” which included Heirloom Tomatoes and Teriyaki Glaze. Watching the guys cook on the grill is nothing new to me, but the food was excellent. The Seaweed Salad was also a surprising delicious item as well. Never would have thought in my lifetime that I would ever eat Seaweed.
When the food came out, it was presented very well, as if they were making it for a commercial shoot. Some sushi came out on different types of plates made of glass and even rock! This made the overall experience of the restaurant even feel more authentic, like you were in Japan.
The menus were simple enough to where I don’t have to flip over too many pages like a chain restaurant. It had a couple of pages with simple categories for the sushi, main dishes, A La Carte and side items. The drink menu (which was separate) was very similar with categories for different wines, beer and special drinks as well.
Food = 9
Lastly, let’s talk about the price of what you will pay here. Surprisingly, for the quality of food and the part of town you are in (Buckhead) most people will think you are digging deep into your bank account – not at all. The dishes that you will pay is cheaper than what you will expect. For the experience, freshness of the food and service, I am very surprised that it wasn’t more than what it was. It’s honestly a steal and a place I would bring a date or celebrate a special occasion.
3345 Lenox Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
Katana Tappanyaki & Sushi Restaurant is a remarkable establishment that has the price that challenges other high-end Japanese restaurants. The food, environment and service that you will receive here is impeccable.