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A Nakato Atlanta

A Nakato Atlanta

Nakato Atlanta

Nakato Atlanta is a noodle house in Midtown Atlanta. It serves authentic Japanese cuisine, including sushi and hibachi dishes. The sushi is fresh, and the servers are very friendly and have great banter. The hibachi is offered as a special and is a great way to try a wide variety of Japanese dishes, as well as a great way to sample Japanese cuisine without committing to a whole meal.

Japanese Resturant

Testuko Nakato opened her eponymous Japanese restaurant nearly 50 years ago in Atlanta, now located on Cheshire Bridge Road. For granddaughter Sachi Nakato Takahara and her family, 2020 began with the death of the family patriarch and one of the restaurant’s proprietors Kiyoshi Takahara “Kiyo” Nakato on New Year’s Day at age 69. Three months later, Takahara announced the temporarily closure of Nakato as COVID-19 cases and virus-related deaths rose sharply in Georgia.

“We are still trying to figure out the best way to utilize this amazing grant and opportunity, but we know that we want to enhance our outdoor space and the curb appeal of Nakato,” Takahara tells Eater, who says architectural plans are in the works for exterior improvements. “The fact that the National Trust for Historic Preservation considers Nakato Japanese Restaurant a historic and culturally significant restaurant, is a true testament to my grandmother’s vision of Nakato, and is such a wonderful tribute to her legacy.” (Source: atlanta.eater.com)

Chef

Since 1972, generations of Atlantans have celebrated their birthdays around Nakato’s family-owned teppanyaki tables, more widely recognized as the sizzling stage for the circus chefs of Benihana. Along with the cocktail bar and a dated dining room that resembles a 1980s hotel, these tables are distractions from the real show that awaits at the sushi counter helmed by Tokyo-born Tetsuji “Nishi” Nishihara. Nishihara has proven to be every bit as talented as his predecessor, Yoshiharu “Kaki” Kakinuma, who left in August 2012. Expect the same arcane delicacies—silvery mackerels, rich sea urchin, monkfish liver, vegetarian rolls with pickled roots or fermented soybeans—prepared with a soulful modesty rooted in Japan’s most honored tradition.

Fast-forward a generation. Sachi took over Nakato’s Atlanta operations in 2004. She was all of 23, fresh out of college, having graduated from Boston University. Scoff at the art history degree, but it is not as if Sachi was coming in green. She’d worked at Nakato since she was 12 years old, “running around the kitchen” to refill water glasses, plate desserts, calculate checks by hand and, of course, give Chef his sake nightcap when service ended. (Source: www.ajc.com)

 

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