Creative Loafing's Brad Kaplan takes a first look at O-Ku Sushi, the Charleston-based restaurant that opened in the Westside Ironworks development last month. Kaplan thinks some dishes are sauced and battered with too heavy of a hand, but chef Jackie Chang's Umi experience is still apparent:
While the Umi training is evident in the chef's signature nigiri — like a simple Hiramasa yellowtail with a touch of herb oil, ponzu sauce, and a thin sliver of jalapeño ($5 per piece) — many of the dishes we tried were drowned in sauces. The smoky sake (seared salmon) appetizer ($13) offered thin slices of fish practically swimming in sauce, with the shallow pool of the plate completely covered in sweet citrus honey vinaigrette. The otoro spoons ($23) that came highly recommended by our well-intentioned, if admittedly new-to-sushi, waiter suffered a similar fate, with five individual spoons offering an overpowering puddle of soy sauce beneath small portions of otoro tartare and uni. And the rock shrimp tempura? O-Ku takes a different tack than the much-replicated Nobu version, employing clingy tomato confit and a sweet Korean chili paste over a heavy breaded coating, all of which weigh down the delicate crustacean.
Wyatt Williams reviews Dub's Fish Camp for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, awarding Anne Quatrano's Ponce City Market restaurant two out of four stars. Williams is happy to see Quatrano finally put seafood front and center:
And so, if you've been a Quatrano fan as long as I have, going to W.H. Stiles Fish Camp might be a little like seeing your favorite local character actor finally land a leading role. There is full range on display — from the purest of raw oysters and clams to decadent, rich heaps of creamy barbecue shrimp to flawless fried calamari — that shows Quatrano finally giving seafood her top billing. ... Her well-established attention to detail has paid off in the kitchen, where the dishes are worthy of the table in any fine seafood restaurant in Atlanta, yet run around half the price of restaurants serving seafood of this quality.
THE ELSEWHERE AND THE BLOGS: Fried Chicken Lips says Community Q still turns out quality barbecue after all these years. Marie, Let's Eat! agrees and says Community Q does many things really well. Atlanta Food Critic thinks Smokebelly BBQ is a must-visit.