Tomo Omakase

August 9, 2012 · 7 comments

in atlanta, dining out

Tomo - Aug 7 2012

This week we ate omakase at Tomo Buckhead for our friend Michael’s birthday. I’ve visited Tomo Buckhead a couple times since opening, but I have always ordered ala carte, and this was my first trip to the sushi bar. For up to five people (which we had) there is a separate sushi bar section, sort of around the corner of the bar, offering a faux sense of privacy. It is an excellent place to sit.

I don’t know if there is a financial minimum for this seating area, but I believe we committed to around $125 a person (before tip), though we ended up adding a few courses.

There were roughly ten courses during our sushi and wine fest, if you include the yuzu sorbet that absolutely killed my wine palate. Sounds snobby I’m sure, but there are certain foods that just destroy the ability to enjoy certain types of wines, which sucks when drinking special stuff.

Tomo was our itamae for the night, which he told me roughly translates to “the person behind the counter”, and is a respectful way to address a sushi chef. I first learned of this term from Gene Lee, back when he used to write his blog Eat, Drink, Man and food blogging was better in this town.

Tomo - Aug 7 2012

This was my wine of the night. Definitively pretty red Burgundy. Chase the dragon.

Tomo - Aug 7 2012

This was not my dish of the night, though it is the most vivid. Tomo-San has many beautiful presentations, with much consideration, but when paying the prices commanded by excellent fish (and grand restaurant spaces), I really want to taste the quality of unadulterated seafood.

Tomo - Aug 7 2012

I do like Tomo’s cooked non-fish dishes very much. The lamb is always superb, and the duck with foie gras and shishito pepper was as good a duck preparation one could find anywhere in Atlanta. “Kobe” beef was also served, but suffered the fate of many a Tomo dish and was sweet and salty sauced into oblivion. And I won’t even get into whether it should be called Kobe beef.

Tomo - Aug 7 2012

I’ve said it a bunch of times, but sushi is what I want. Sushi = nigiri. And sushi refers to the rice, which was extremely fine on this night. Touch of vinegar, body temperature, not sticky, mushy, or undercooked. Just right, so as you place the fish tongue sized down, the rice presses the fish to impress the flavor, and the last thing you taste is the rice’s vinegar, freeing the palate for your next bite, which if you timed it right, should be coming off the hands of the sushi chef. There’s nothing like it, the most personal of all food experiences I’ve encountered.

The full omakase may not earn a trip back from me, but the nigiri was as good as I have seen at Tomo, and my addiction certainly isn’t fading.

Tomo - Aug 7 2012

Tomo - Aug 7 2012

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  • Broderick

    Love the shot of Tomo

  • Awesome shots and excellent write up. I’ve always thought Tomo’s price tag is out of line with the overall experience/quality. Though not a sushi meal – SAAM was $125 when I ate there and that was for 22 course and nearly everything was fantastic. Tomo is definitely good – but at that price point – I just think it should be world class.

  • Steve’s Friend

    I wish we could have talked more but I felt like we were sitting at opposite ends of the table.

  • I know what you mean, but I don’t think it’s fair to compare sushi with normal fine dining. Top grade fish is just so darn expensive. If SAAM utilized sashimi grade fish from Tsukiji in 12 of the 22 dishes, the meal would cost more than double. You can go to a mid-tier sushi restaurant and easily spend $75 on a single platter of sashimi. I don’t think that means it should be better than any meal you’ve ever had under $75.

  • Your points are excellent my good man. I would say that the cost of ingredients and required effort behind the meal at SAAM (or Soto when he was in ATL if you want a direct 1 to 1), easily matches what Tomo uses. I guess the short way of saying it is that $125 at Soto or Yasuda in NYC blows your mind for nearly as much food. :-) Now if only there were a place for Urasawa here in Atlanta …

  • Did you get stuck at the kids table again Steve?

  • Amy

    Maybe you can help with this question: how do you reserve the omakase? Just make dining reservations? Lol, sorry–I can’t find an answer.

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