It’s been about a year since I started eating sushi.
For whatever reason, I just never tried it. But I’ve always been a big seafood fan, so naturally, I’ve been hooked on it since the first bite.
After reading so many testimonials that Czar Ice Bar in Buckhead was home to the best sushi in the city, I had to give it a shot. But I had no idea what I was walking into.
I’d heard about the bar being made of ice (which is true). And I knew the restaurant was located in the middle of the East Andrews bars. But I didn’t know I’d be stepping into a whole other world when I set foot in Czar Ice Bar.
The music is thumping as soon as you walk into the door — this isn’t a quiet little date-night eatery. To the right is a bar with 300 kinds of vodka from 23 different countries (the bartenders have to climb a ladder to get to half of them), according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. To the left is a sushi bar, and above your head are designs in the sloped ceiling that make it seem like you’re surrounded by ice.
It’s New-York-trendy, but they don’t hide bad food behind that faςade. Folks, I might be a sushi semi-newbie, but I can still recognize a good roll when I taste it. This is, so far, the best sushi I’ve had in the city.
The joint seats about 80 people with a patio that can probably hold around 30 more. It’s quaint, but we didn’t have to wait more than 10 minutes for a two-person side table on a Friday night. There are couches for bigger parties, and you can always pull up a chair at the sushi bar.
We started with a couple of drinks — I had a light Russian beer (the name escapes me, mostly because the waitress started rattling off Russian beers to me and I just said, “I’ll take that!”), and my girlfriend had a Cherry Orchard martini. For my first Russian beer and her lukewarm attitude toward martinis in general, we had two perfect compliments to our food, which arrived after we had consumed about half of our respective beverages.
The first roll that was delivered was the Super Crunch roll, which you can see pictured at the top of the page. If you’re not a fan of smothering your sushi in soy sauce, this is the roll for you.
And if I could only have one roll for the rest of my life, this would be the roll for me.
Packed with smoked salmon and topped with a flavor that reminded me of sesame chicken, I was convinced there was nothing that could be done to make this roll taste any better. I nearly called for seconds, but then our second roll arrived — the Yumi Yumi roll, which was crispy on the outside and filled with spicy tuna and asparagus on the inside.
If you’re not a fan of asparagus, you probably should steer clear of this roll. It’s one of those vegetables that invades your taste buds as soon as you bite into it, so while we enjoyed the Yumi Yumi roll, I’d bet non-asparagus eaters would be better off sampling something else.
After we had our fill and enjoyed the ambiance of a very unique Atlanta establishment, we grabbed the check. If you go to Czar Bar for the cocktails or the sushi, it’s an affordable evening. If you go for both, it can get a little pricey.
But there’s a Scoutmob for that! And after taking $20 off our final bill, the total cost of the meal and tip was under $50.
If you’re going to spend an evening at Czar Bar, it would be a good idea to dress for a colder atmosphere. It’s just like a Thrashers game (Rest in Peace) — they have to keep the ice bar cold, so they crank up the air conditioning. If you’re a freeze baby, there’s always the patio.
Czar Bar is open for dinner or a late-night snack every day except Sunday. I’d highly recommend you check this one out. because it’s an experience you won’t find anywhere else in Atlanta.
Website: Czar Ice Bar