10 Atlanta mashup restaurants to try


Whether you call them post-fusion or mashup, some the most exciting restaurants are crossing cultures and cuisines to create concepts and dishes that bridge the distance between people and places. And, in Atlanta, as elsewhere, younger chefs are behind some of the most lively examples. Here are 10 to check out right now:

Chai Pani — The Decatur Indian street food spot from Meherwan Irani, who grew up near Mumbai, specializes in “mindblasting” offerings that teeter between past and present. In the mix: lime-salted okra fries, and the Sloppy Jai, a Sloppy Joe take with spiced lamb hash. 406 W. Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur. 404-378-4030, chaipanidecatur.com.

Eat Me Speak Me — Chef Jarrett Stieber’s move to SOS Tiki Bar in Decatur has given new life and added hours to his witty global mashup of fine dining and comfort food, like fry bread and rice porridge. And, sometimes, there’s a pop-up within a pop-up, with the likes of a Vietnamese night. 340 Church St., Decatur. 404-377-9308, eatmespeakme.com.

Pijiu Belly — Pijiu is the Mandarin word for beer, and this Westside watering hole-in-the-wall gets busy with a crazy-cool mix of American bar food with Southern and Asian influences. Think Thai tots, Korean bulgogi kimchi tacos, shredded barbecue chicken on a hoagie roll, and an assortment of ramen bowls. 678 10th St. NW, Atlanta. 404-343-6828, pijiubelly.com.

Masti Atlanta — This Bollywood-styled restaurant in Toco Hill favors “fun Indian street eats,” with a menu that mixes traditional chaat snacks and Indian-spiced versions of American fast-food hot dogs and burgers. Masti masala fries with special sauce, paneer cheese and tomato, anyone? 2945 N. Druid Hills Road, Atlanta. 470-236-2784, mastiatlanta.com.

Noona — In downtown Duluth, the newest concept from Chinese-American business partners Michael Lo and George Yu is a steak house and oyster bar with a wood-fired grill and Korean flavors. See grilled octopus with shimeji mushrooms, fermented soybean, seaweed powder and smoked black sesame. 3550 Lawrenceville St., Duluth. 678-404-5001, noonaduluth.com.

Snackboxe Bistro — Laotian-American husband-and-wife team Vanh Sengaphone and Thip Athakhanh recently opened this Doraville restaurant to bring Atlanta a contemporary take on the food of their native land. A spin on saku (tapioca pearl dumplings) trades pork for vegan soy filling. 6035 Peachtree Road, Doraville. 770-417-8082, snackboxebistro.com.

Steinbeck’s — Mexican-American chef Andy Gonzales does pub grub with surprising flourishes of flavor at this tiny Oakhust storefront. His cheeseburger, dubbed the Tower of Power, has made multiple best-of lists, but the eclectic menu boasts a Chinese breakfast bowl, and mucho Mexican specials. 659 East Lake Drive, Decatur. 404-373-1116, steinbecksbar.com.

Talat Market — At the 30-seat Gato space in Candler Park, former Kimball House chefs Parnass Lim Savang and Rod Lassiter present a pop-up menu of up to eight creative Thai dishes made with Georgia-grown ingredients. Look for a permanent location in Summerhill in 2019. 1660 McLendon Ave. NE., Atlanta. Instagram: Talat_marketatl.

Taqueria del Sol — Owners Mike Klank and Eddie Hernandez led the way with the original fast-casual Mexican-meets-Southern place.  The genius of Hernandez’s cooking is its elegantly deceiving simplicity, as found in chile-spiked turnip greens, and chicken-green chile puffy-tortilla potpies. Multiple locations, taqueriadelsol.com.

The Blaxican — Both a food truck and a brick-and-mortar takeaway restaurant in Peachtree Corners, this fun concept fuses Southern soul and Mexican with a tricked-out L.A. vibe. On the menu: Mexy mac ’n’ cheese and a quesadilla with collard greens . 5260 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Peachtree Corners. 404-606-3737, blaxicanfood.com.

<<Take a tour of Atlanta’s new fusion revolution:

10 metro Atlanta mashup restaurants to try

 

Why Viet Cajun food in Atlanta is opposite of fusion

 

Humble taco a blank canvas for seemingly all the flavors of the world

 

Nontraditional ramen worthy of its own tradition

 

Collards go global in metro Atlanta

 

Creative condiments add zing to meals at Atlanta restaurants

 

Even fries and tots are getting the fusion treatment

 

Pizza takes a spin around the world at these metro Atlanta restaurants

 

Wrap your hands around these global mashups

 

8 cocktails that stir up global flavors at metro Atlanta bars

 

Global flavors rise and shine on breakfast menus around metro Atlanta

<<Videos:

Inside Blaxican’s fusion cuisine

Inside Bon Ton’s fusion cuisine

Korean and Thai fusion cuisine in Atlanta

<<Podcast: 

Listen to AJC dining editor Ligaya Figueras on Apple Podcasts

Listen to AJC dining editor Ligaya Figueras on  Google Play or Stitcher

<<For fun:

We tried prime rib potato chips -- find out what we thought

Vote: Would you try these crazy food mashups?

From cronuts to Piecaken, these are the food hybrids that made a splash



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food

A pungent reminder of home and hardship
A pungent reminder of home and hardship

When my mom cooked sambal from scratch, she moved with controlled haste. Her eyebrows would furrow as she used her index finger to mix belacan, a pungent shrimp paste, with water. “Open all the windows!” she would suddenly yell, her warning to my brother, father and me that fiery chiles would be hitting her oiled wok in a few minutes. Even...
A hefty steak that’s light enough for August
A hefty steak that’s light enough for August

It’s a shame Americans don’t eat much lamb, as in summer, it is especially delicious grilled. Of all the various cuts of lamb, most can be made into chops. Some, like rib chops (from the rack) or loin chops (which look like miniature T-bone steaks), are expensive, but there are cheaper options, like shoulder and sirloin chops. Among reasonably...
When all else fails, ice cream-filled pastry puffs to the rescue
When all else fails, ice cream-filled pastry puffs to the rescue

Bad news blasts from every vista. Trouble drops down from the top tier of government and bubbles up from the bottom of the sea. Even the air is smudged with the smoke of our national forests, burning. Other eras knew trying times; ours knows all news, all the time. The flip side of endless information is endless entertainment, and that’s where...
Coconut turmeric cake looks like a sunset and tastes like tropical paradise
Coconut turmeric cake looks like a sunset and tastes like tropical paradise

Sometimes you know what a dish will taste like before you even start cooking it. For me, this Coconut Turmeric Sweet Bread was not one of those dishes. When I came across the recipe in "Tahini and Turmeric: 101 Middle Eastern Classics - Made Irresistibly Vegan," by Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox, I didn't know what to expect, but I knew I wanted...
Test Kitchen recipe: Yes, you can make pesto with zucchini
Test Kitchen recipe: Yes, you can make pesto with zucchini

On a recent trip to the market, some of summer’s best and freshest local produce was showing up. There were bushels of beautiful kale, baskets of early Red Haven Peaches and, of course, tons of zucchini and tomatoes. While perusing all this bounty, my thoughts turned to cooking. The vibrant color of greens, the floral smell and fuzzy texture...
More Stories