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A Fresh Blend of Japanese and Korean Cuisine with a Casual, Midtown Feel: Kiri Rice Bar- Midtown Atlanta
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A Fresh Blend of Japanese and Korean Cuisine with a Casual, Midtown Feel: Kiri Rice Bar- Midtown Atlanta

I was first introduced to Kiri during a dinner meeting and was hesitant at trying another sushi place in Atlanta, since most have not been up to my standard in freshness or flavor.  However, as I was open-minded and figured I had nothing to lose.

Kiri is located in the Trader Joe’s shopping center off of Monroe Dr. about 2 blocks away from Piedmont Park.  There is a sufficient amount of parking in the complex unless it’s during peak times, like on a sunny Saturday afternoon or between 6pm-8pm on the weekends.  It is tucked in the back corner behind the Starbucks and right next door to the UPS store. They have an small outside patio space with umbrellas for shade or you can enjoy the modern ambiance of inside the restaurant. The space is not large with only about 10-12 tables, but they present a bright, modern welcoming feel with white walls, green grass trim, straight lines and chrome accents.



For food, I ordered their Sunset Roll (tempura, eel and avocado, topped with salmon and eel sauce), Galbi short ribs and some salmon and unagi (freshwater eel) sashimi.  Wow… I was pleasantly surprised! The sushi was fresh and cut thick.  The grade of salmon had a buttery softness and mild flavor that was perfect.  The Galbi dish, which is korean style beef short ribs, came out on a bed of assorted grilled vegetables and a sizzling skillet.  The meat was very tender, flavorful and has a nice crisp char on the edges for crunch and a touch of sweetness from the marinade.

They are known for their Bibimbap bowls, which are large clay pots full of protein (your choice of meat) with veggies and rice. The bibimbap is definitely filling and worth the price; however, my preference is for their sushi and their galbi short ribs.

The staff is young and very friendly!  Joann always makes sure I have my Sriracha sauce with my low sodium soy sauce for my sushi.

Casual and modern feel, fresh sushi that is affordable, variety of rice dish options, young/energetic staff, and has always been consistent….5 ½ diamonds out of 7!


Science Fact:


Sushi Basics

The most common misconception about sushi is that it is simply raw fish, or that raw fish is an integral part of sushi. When raw fish is served by itself it is calledsashimi. Although sushi originally included raw fish, it can be made with a variety of ingredients.

The importance of fish as an ingredient depends on where the sushi is being prepared. In Tokyo, a city that contains the world's largest fish market, nigiri-zushi usually takes the form of a morsel of rice with a carefully sliced piece of fish on top of it, while sushi from the Osaka region might contain cucumbers and other vegetables or herbs rolled in rice and crisp seaweed, or nori.

In the United States, maki zushi is the most common form of sushi. This form involves rice and nori rolled up with the toppings on a bamboo mat, then sliced into small bite-size rolls. The popular California roll is an inside-out roll with crab meat, avocado and cucumber as the ingredients.

Rice is the key ingredient in all sushi. Short or medium grain is cooked carefully and blended with a special m­ix of rice vinegar, sugar and salt. The texture and consistency of the rice are both vital to making proper sushi - it should be a bit sticky, not gooey or clumpy. The vinegar used should not overpower the natural flavor of the rice.

So sushi is simply specially prepared rice served with various toppings in a variety of shapes and sizes. In fact, chirashizushi, sometimes called rice salad in the United States, is simply a bowl of sushi rice with toppings.

Sushi dates back almost one thousand years, when raw fish was preserved by storing it between layers of rice. Over a period of weeks, the rice fermented, and the chemicals produced kept the fish from going bad. Once the fermentation process was complete, the fish was ready to eat. Eventually, the Japanese began eating the rice and fish together. A form of this traditional sushi, known as narezushi, is still eaten in Japan, although its taste is said to be rather pungent. It is still made by layering salt, fish and rice in a wooden barrel and topping it with a heavy stone for a few weeks.

The invention of rice vinegar made the fermentation process unnecessary, and chefs in the Osaka region began molding rice and toppings in small wooden molds, creating oshizushi. Sushi became popular the Edo region, which is known today as Tokyo, where chefs invented nigiri-zushi by forming the rice into small pockets by hand and pressing the topping into it.


(1 Vote)
Last modified on Saturday, 16 August 2014 10:05
5.00 out of 7 based on 1 ratings1 user reviews.
A tucked away sushi gem in Midtown Reviewed by The Classy Critic on . Sushi tastes great and is fresh! Staff is friendly and its a simple getaway that will have you coming back for more! Rating: 5 7
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