Photo courtesy of Mujō


Where To Find Omakase For Every Occasion in Atlanta


For a landlocked city, there’s no shortage of omakase options in Atlanta. We’ve got exclusive secret dining rooms popping up like enoki mushrooms, protected in hushed tones as those in the know protect the scant spots available at each intimate seating. In fact, the only thing more limited than a spot at these high-value experiences is access to a menu. Omakase is truly of-the-moment; the shelf life of raw fish — typically shipped on ice from markets in Japan for most of these upscale restaurants — isn’t much longer than said moment, and the variety is fishery-dependent.

So how do you choose where to eat when you can’t pore over a menu in equal parts joy and agony? How can you decide which is the right investment for your occasion’s vibe when people are too present to take photos and few images of these exclusive dining spaces exist?

Simple — you dive in, vibe first. Then utter to your Resy team, omakase — “I leave it up to you.” Right this way to our Atlanta omakase matchmaker.

Omakase by Yun nigiri
Photo courtesy of Omakase by Yun
Omakase by Yun nigiri
Photo courtesy of Omakase by Yun

Your Match: Chill, Serene, and at Home Anywhere

Step out of the bustle and glitter of Buckhead Village and catch your breath in the soothing natural color palette of Brush Sushi’s new home … then have it taken away again at first bite at the O by Brush counter. There, chef Jason Liang blows loyalists’ already high expectations clean out of the water as he showcases his fearlessness of sushi’s most challenging techniques over 16 or 25 courses in a setting that’s refined and relaxed. It’s elegant omakase without pretension — a seat here feels like attending an intimate dinner party, gathered around a contemporary kitchen counter in a friend’s stylish home, where you’re as unrushed as the fish masterfully dry aging behind him.

For serious homey feels with a more urban slant, make a reservation for the recently relocated and thoroughly updated Omakase by Yun. This is where Jonathan Yun, apprentice of chef Nakazawa Daisuke — who apprenticed himself under the world’s greatest living sushi chef and the eponymous star of Jiro Dreams of Sushi — serves 16 courses at an unfussy, cozy counter with industrial accents. Ironically enough, it’s OTP in Dunwoody, but it feels more in-town loft than breezy O by Brush, with its concrete tones, painted brick, a boxy sofa, and open-shelf room divider.

Photo courtesy of M by Tasuku Murakami
Photo courtesy of M by Tasuku Murakami

Your Match: Techy Perfectionist with a Modern Aesthetic

High-tech meets highbrow in chef Leonard Yu’s first solo endeavor, a master who “popped up” with Jason Liang at Brush Sushi Izakaya to rave reviews. Precision, intention, and invention are the foundation of every detail of Omakase Table, from the 20-course omakase selection that often features rare catches to the space-age restrooms that all but tuck you into bed. The story of each course is told in riveting detail for the food nerd in all of us; there’s a whole fishing boatload’s worth of artistry in every bite. Sparkling clean, brightly lit, but warmly hued, it’s slightly futuristic without being sterile.

But if minimalist modern is more your jam, Tasuku Murakami is your man. M by Tasuku Murakami is starkly pristine and gleamingly white — a dramatic contrast to the brooding ambience of Umi Modern Japanese, the restaurant it’s hidden in. Limited to two seatings of eight thrice weekly, offering 16 or 17 courses, watching these dishes come together under the full glare of bright, unforgiving lights that leave nowhere for flaws to hide, is like watching a scientist at riveting work.

Photo courtesy of Mujō
Photo courtesy of Hayakawa

Your Match: Suave, Stylish, and Smooth-Talking

If you’re in the mood for dimly-lit, dramatically dark dining rooms whose heavy doors open only for the elite, you’ll want to check out Mujō. Chef J. Trent Harris and his team serve modern Edomae sushi — a casual street food style that started in Tokyo featuring exclusive catches from Tokyo Bay and has become Japan’s premier haute cuisine — paired with convivial service and conversation that belie the seriousness of the menu and price tag. But the latter is no obstacle for one of the most in-demand, hard-to-get reservations in the city, where setting a Notify increases your chances but is still no guarantee.

An equally hot ticket: Hayakawa, reinvented once again, now in West Midtown. Seating only eight at a time, a spot at the counter here is the surest way to take a journey through Tokyo’s Toyosu market and seas beyond with Atsushi “Art” Hayakawa as he personally narrates his dishes. An Atlantan treasure himself, serving the city since 2008, Hayakawa is as much a star as his 16 courses, regaling diners through a headset mic under the peaceful glow of soft stage lighting before a backdrop of black-on-white walls.

Your Match: Take-My-Hand Adventurer

Not everyone is ready to fully relinquish control of their meal, nor to share their occasion with a bar full of strangers … and according to Justin Lim and Sean Park, that’s more than okay. In rare form, the omakase menu as well as chef’s nigiri tasting at NoriFish are also available at private tables that keep an evening intimate and date night-worthy. In fact, guests are welcome to choose their own adventures, using the omakase menu as a guide to mix and match nigiri, sushi, and sashimi — all flown in from Toyosu Fish Market in Japan. Fun, modern Japanese dishes with tapas flair — a spicy tuna “dip” with rice chips and yuzu honey ponzu oysters with blood orange and serrano — provide zest and pop in spades, adding a refreshing lightness to a dramatic, heavy red and black palette that dominates a spotlit dining room.

And for those not ready to leave land for a full-sea plunge, for Atlantans, there’s always the effortlessly cool Prefecture. There, Sean Park adds turf to a traditionally surf-only meal to create the first and only omakase steakhouse in the southeastern U.S., offering luxury cuts of A5 Miyazaki Wagyu beef in ways that pay exquisite homage to the prefectures where this cattle is raised. Generous portions of various cuts redefine expectations with textural and flavor combinations that do the most. Palate cleansers like a sashimi course keep things light and playful … much like the lively hits that bump discreetly in the background.

The ambience is modern without being trendy, upscale without being stuffy, and polished without being rigid. For example, instead of set seatings, you can hop on Resy to request a dining time of your choice, bridging the gap between leaving things fully up to the chef, per traditional omakase, and decision paralysis from too much free will.

Su-Jit Lin is a rehabilitated New Yorker, former New Orleanian, and current Atlantan, in addition to being a travel, food, and lifestyle writer. She has contributed to EatingWell, HuffPost, Epicurious, The Takeout, Eater, The Kitchn, Vinepair, Thrillist, Food & Wine, Serious Eats, Southern Living, and more. Follow her on Instagram. Follow Resy, too.