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Critic Says Jai Ho Falls Short by Playing It Safe

And there’s a first look at Double Dragon

Interior shot of Jai Ho
Jai Ho.
Jai Ho/Facebook

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Wendell Brock, in a non-starred review, assesses Jai Ho Indian Kitchen & Bar, which recently took over the old Madre + Mason space in Morningside. Brock says the restaurant has an opportunity to give Atlanta some much-needed Southern Indian cuisine, but it doesn’t meet expectations.

But the bulk of the menu consists of Indian standards (tandooris, biryanis, kormas, masalas, etc.) — the work of a chef who is more content to play it safe than reach for the stars. At the end of it all, Jai Ho is more likely to send you out with a full tummy than a satisfied soul. ... [I]n trying to do so many things, Jai Ho is just so-so.

In a city underserved in the cuisine of Southern India (especially now that [Asha] Gomez has shuttered Spice to Table), it offers a splendid opportunity. If the kitchen would only tighten its focus, the restaurant might really shine, and become the kind of culinary destination that its visionary owner wanted all along.

Creative Loafing’s Angela Hansberger takes a first look at Double Dragon, the new Oakhurst spot from Taiyo Ramen’s George Yu and Michael Lo. Hansberger finds much-improved versions of Americanized Chinese staples.

Oakhurst’s Double Dragon is both an homage to and a reminiscence of this Chinese-American style. Second-generation Chinese-American restaurateurs Michael Lo and George Yu, also of Taiyo Ramen (formerly Makan) and Suzy Siu’s Baos, relished the chance to reproduce the type of restaurant they grew up in, but with high quality and locally sourced ingredients. The name is intentionally kitschy, harkening back to the names of classic Chinese spots in the ’80s and their favorite beat 'em up arcade game of the time. In fact, the pair plan to eventually install a classic arcade-style console in the restaurant, but with a modern-day emulator stocked with 3,000+ games.

Double Dragon embodies the concept, delivering a comforting blend of those homey sweet and saucy flavors, but made exclusively with local and seasonal produce and sustainable meats. Plus, slick and modern style to boot.

THE ELSEWHERE AND THE BLOGS: Roamilicious says Eclectic Bar & Bistro is a worthy neighborhood staple in Ansley Park.

All Week in Reviews [EATL]