Atlanta Dining

Gettin’ Genki with It

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In addition to excellent food, Genki has a fun drink list.

I hated to see Everybody’s Pizza leave Virginia-Highland, home of our beloved pizza salad. But Genki Noodles & Sushi, the new kid on the block, serves up a wonderful and memorable meal as well.

My husband and I recently dined at this third location of the popular restaurant, opened in 1996 by the enthusiastic and charming Reid Zeising. A native of Tokyo, Reid explained his menu as a combination of the Japanese street food and fine dining dishes he loved growing up, as well as some items of his own creation.

Really, what’s the point of having your own restaurant if you can’t make up your own roll? The Reid roll is made of spicy chopped salmon wrapped in lettuce and topped with seared Angus filet, avocado and spicy garlic sauce. I’m thinking if I ever got to create my own roll, pimiento cheese would definitely be involved.

I was a bit overwhelmed by the menu at first, as it is rather extensive and then there is the always-fun create-your-own-bowl option. So while we pondered, we opted to try one of their delicious drinks to ease the process. The selection of flavored Mojitos, my favorite drink, is extensive. I enjoyed the raspberry Mojito once the waiter ensured the kitchen had fresh mint.

I found several things I wanted under the appetizer section alone: calamari, tiger shrimp, shrimp and vegetable tempura, Yokohama lobster and Japanese marinated ribs to name a few. Then there is an entire selection of tuna specialties, soups and salads, traditional bowls and sushi and sashimi. After making our selections we settled back to enjoy our feast.

As the tables are quite cozily positioned, we ended up chatting with Patti Davis, (who writes the fun blog Anatomy of a Dinner Party) and her husband Eric. Patti was kind enough to share some of her excellent photos with us. (Note to self: buy a real camera that takes great shots even in the dark.)

Our amuse, the Spicy Hawaiian roll, with tuna and mango

We tried the shrimp tempura, although I messed up and really wanted the vegetables as well.  The shrimp was lightly battered and came with more shrimp than we should have eaten, given what was to come. Our new friends, Eric and Patti, shared some of their portobello mushrooms served over crispy spinach with sweet soy sauce. Although I enjoyed the mushroom, I couldn’t stop eating the addicting spinach. We ordered our own side dish of that as well.

We also tried the Hamachi Kama, marinated and grilled yellowtail cheek, served with ponzu sauce, which we were urged to eat our way all the way through.

Then came the towering Tuna Symphony – tuna sashimi, tuna takaki, tuna aioli and tuna tartar, served with house made won ton chips, which rival the spinach for their addictive qualities.

The tiger shrimp appetizer was my favorite dish, and could easily have been an entreé. It's served with guacamole and the addicting house made won ton chips.

At this point the idea of dessert was downright painful, but my husband is never one to turn down anything sweet. So Fried Tempura Oreos it was. But it’s really okay – they are lightly battered before they are fried and served with ice cream and strawberry sauce.

So okay, perhaps we overindulged a bit. But you can eat lighter here as well.  If you have kids the $6 Kids menu is a good value.  From 4-6 pm, Genki Hour, you can choose items from the lunch menu or opt for a selection of four appetizers, two rolls, four wines and three beers, all offered at just $3 each. Go to the website for a $5 off coupon if you sign up for the email club.

Genki also handles catering and delivers to home or office. The other two locations at at The Prado at 5590 Roswell Road, and in Buckhead at 3186 Roswell Road.

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