Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Maru Sushi, long overdue

When I first moved out to God's Country, as B. lovingly calls the area where I live (It's within the city limits, though!), I had no clue what good restaurants were nearby. Coming from the Highlands, I regularly ate at places in my neighborhood or Little Five Points or in East Atlanta. The Westside was totally foreign to me.

One evening, C-Dub and I decided to drive around and look for a place to eat. We drove for (what seemed like, at the time) forever, not seeing much that interested us. Then, we saw it in bright neon: SUSHI. Oh yeah, we're sushi fiends. We love MF Sushi but we'll put up with Rusan's for a hit, even if we normally regret it. Trying out an unknown sushi restaurant can be hit or miss - and we were willing to take that risk.

Thankfully, we were rewarded with perfectly vinegared sushi rice (a pet peeve of C-Dub's), fresh fish, a great value, and - best of all - a dedicated husband and wife owner team with courteous and professional staff.

I say best of all because Sonhee and Joe quickly become friends with everyone who walks in through their door. If something is not to your liking, Sonhee will quickly rush it away and return with a new dish. I've seen Sonhee handle even the most obnoxious customer with ease, making it hard for that person to leave with a grudge. Having been to places where it seems like no one cares about their restaurant or return business, their devotion and enthusiasm for what they do is refreshing.

Writing about Maru has been long, long overdue. So, C-Dub and I went there last week to grab some food and take some pics.

We decided to get our usual: chirashi, futomaki, and wakame salad.

C-Dub pretending he doesn't have the menu memorized

I love their wakame salad. Maru puts a ponzu sauce (a citrus-based sauce) on top of their seaweed salad but I usually ask for it on the side. (Yeah, they put up with that crap from me. So, you can see why I keep going back.)

Looks good, right?


Their chirashi has got to be one of the best values around. For under $20, you get a huge mound of sushi rice with the chef's choice of fresh sashimi on top. Plus, your order comes with a salad topped with ginger dressing - it's not that mayo-y grossness that some restaurants give you! - and a warm bowl of miso soup.

See? Not a drop of mayo in this ginger dressing!

Doesn't this look fresh?

To mix things up, C-Dub ordered a salmon skin hand roll to round out the meal.

Salmon skin hand roll

This hand roll makes me think of their lunch buffet. Okay, stop right there. I know you're going, "Lunch buffet? Ugh, no thanks!" and I hear you. But, stop thinking of the awful buffet that Rusan's serves and start thinking of a delicious plethora of choices that include the expected (california rolls) but also has the unanticipated, like hand rolls and inari. And, of course, you get that yummy miso soup and ginger salad - all for under $15!

Sadly, I don't work close enough to Maru to eat lunch there on a regular basis. But, when I've got a weekday off, you can bet I am in Maru loading up a plate!

Maru Sushi
4454 South Cobb Dr
Smyrna, GA 30080
Maru's profile on Facebook


Anonymous said...

So glad you gave props to Maru! I wrote to Cliff @ CL and he mentioned it on the omnivore blog but never went there. I love Maru too!

Glue&Glitter said...

Dang, now you have me craving sushi!!

kiwi said...

I have driven by this place so many times, trying to figure out a place to eat. Now I know next time to stop! i can't wait to go.

B said...

God's country!! LOL