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Umezono – Atlanta

I was in Atlanta for business the other week, and really wanting udon. I was feeling a bit run down from so much travelling in such a short amount of time, so I love to stuff noodle soup in my belly to make myself feel better. I just happened to be near a couple of japanese spots, but I headed out to the one with the best reviews – Umezono. It’s in a really random stripmall, which even has a strip club in it! Unfortunate, but true! There’s also a little japanese grocery store next door. 
Well wouldn’t you know it, this place was an authentic japanese-run joint in the middle of nowhere Atlanta. I’d have never guessed. I just lucked out that my Doubletree was around the corner from it! Actual japanese chefs, servers wearing kimonos, hot towels. It was the real deal!  You get a little tiny bowl of complimentary edamame. I got a little salad too, as my body was craving some items from nature. It happens sometimes, where I really want vegetables.
Everyone knows that I’m crazy about agedashi tofu. Very respectable, but still doesn’t come close to Sagami. 
I went pretty traditional and had a kitsune udon. Who can resist sweet fried tofu? Not this girl! The broth was just right and the noodles were cooked firm, but not overdone. Really, I got super lucky with this place. I could have ended up just about anywhere, but thank goodness for the random work customer site powers that be. If I hadn’t felt so blah I would have definitely tried some sushi. Next time!
Umezono Japanese on Urbanspoon

Fuji Mountain

Every time we passed Fuji Mountain M kept saying we needed to go there. It took us long enough, but we finally went for some sushi and japanese eats. Requisite garden salad with ginger dressing and miso soup.
Here is the tuna tataki, probably the dish that M wanted to get here. He’s nearly batsh!t crazy about seared tuna. Slices of seared tuna with ponzu sauce. I had to agree with him on this one, it was great!
Ceviche at a japanese restaurant? I wasn’t convinced, but M really wanted to try the mixed ceviche, Fuji Mountain’s japanese take on a raw seafood favorite. Also good!
Quite a respectful sushi regular from Fuji Mountain.
Would it surprise anyone that I got the tempura udon? Nope, this girl knows what she likes, and she sticks with her tried and true favorites. Also quite respectful here! There are a bazillion sushi and japanese joints in philly. It’s almost like you can’t walk a block without running into one. But I like the unexpected dishes here. And the expected ones are also good too! Service here is good. There’s also a private karaoke room upstairs!
Fuji Mountain on Urbanspoon

Bistro Isakaya – Montreal

I was in Montreal for about one hot minute this summer. I was only there for one dinner and had no car, so I found Bistro Isakaya just a few steps from my downtown hotel. You can’t look into the restaurant from the outside, which I always find slightly creepy. The only thing in the windows were some crudely hand-written menus. But I braved it and went inside. It’s quite not scary on the inside! What was I afraid of?
The gedashi tofu! It’s one of my most favorite japanese dishes, so I try to get this often, when at a new japanese spot. I loved that they served it with grated daikon. There’s just something I love about grated daikon in agedashi tofu and zaru soba. The sauce was a bit on the salty side for me.I had one of the noodle and seafood salad specials that was on a handwritten menu. I thought that because it was a special, it would be rather interesting. It ended up fairly bland. It looked pretty exciting but there just wasn’t much flavor in there. The shrimp was rather flavorless but the crab was good. The avocado wasn’t very ripe either. The best bits were the tomatoes and the crab. The soba noodles didn’t add much. 
By the time I got around to the roll I ordered, I barely had room for it. It was much more exciting than the salad! And the avocado in this was nice and ripe. The service was really good and friendly here. The prices were quite reasonable. The only bad thing was a really loud and annoying couple pretty much next to me. Not only were they stupidly loud, their conversation was just inane and obnoxious. Ugh. But hey, what are you gonna do?
Isakaya on Urbanspoon

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