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After just over ten years of being in business, Thai & Sushi: East Atlanta has become as much a staple in the East Atlanta Village as karaoke and skinny jeans. It opened its doors in 2001 as one of the first restaurants in the neighborhood, and thanks to a delicious, diverse menu (and those infamous dollar sushi nights), it’s been at the beating heart of this Village ever since. And with a little added wiggle room, EAV Thai & Sushi is even more accommodating to the hoardes of sushi-hungry (or sake-thirsty) Village people that fill its doors. Yep, the restaurant added an extra room of bartop seating in an alley-like open space that overlooks the village’s sidewalks for optimal gawking and people-watching. Our homey little sushi spot is growing up so very fast.
The laid-back, almost bistro-esque atmosphere of Thai & Sushi EAV, with its dim lighting, smooth lounge music, impressively well-stocked bar, and hip patrons, is one of East Atlanta’s best spots to unwind (or wind up, if you’re heading to a show at the Earl afterward). One of the restaurant’s signature libations is the Sake Martini, a Japanese rendition of the Bond classic with rice wine in place of vodka. The pomegranate sake martini tastes like a tropical vacation in a fancy glass, complete with lime and maraschino cherry skewered on a plastic sword. It’s an unusual but creative combination that’s proven to be fruitful (pardon the pun), becoming a local favorite with the restaurant’s more thirsty regulars. Those regulars also enjoy diving in to the basil dishes and the spicy Thai fried rice. But another menu favorite? Well, don’t take this personally, but I Hate You. Specifically, the “I Hate You” roll, also less offensively known as the Yummi-Yummi. It’s a flash-fried concoction with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and a dollop of cream cheese, drizzled with a spicy mayo and kabayaki sauce. It’s crunchy, rich, delicious… and completely mysterious, as no one is completely sure why the restaurant’s former chef graced it with such a, well, resentful name. Co-owner Paul has his theories, though—he figures it has something to do with using the roll to appease an angry girlfriend. “She might say she hates you, but you give her one of these, and she’ll forget all about it!” We have a feeling it might have something to do with the fightin’ words one might use when attempting to share this dish with a friend or loved one. Hint: it’s impossible. They are simply too delicious to share. So stand your ground, sushi lovers: these yummi-yummis are worth defending with that tiny plastic martini sword.