Random Review: Aja in Atlanta (Buckhead)

Description taken from Here To Serve Restaurant’s website.

Here To Serve’s latest, and first Asian concept: Aja, a modern Asian Kitchen, is located in the former Emeril’s location in Buckhead. This two story environment consists of a private dining room which seats up to 55 guests, a 150 seat patio with views of the Buckhead skyline and sprawling lounge area where guests can enjoy dim sum, signature mai tais and more! The restaurant is the home to a 10 ft brass Buddha that arrived straight from Thailand. Come enjoy all 20 cuisines of the far East regions at Aja.

I visited Aja for the first time last night with a group of friends. The best test of a restaurant is to bring a few people with varied tastes and steal a bite from everyone. No commitment to any one dish is required. The first thing I noticed when entering was the giant Buddha on display. I have a thing for Buddhas so we were off to a good start! The atmosphere is great. Dim lights, candles all around and music playing in the background loud enough to enjoy, but not too overbearing that I was screaming at my friends. Well, I screamed a couple of times but it had nothing to do with the music being too loud.

Aja seems to have more staff running around than they seem to have tables. This is a good thing! The valet greeted me with an umbrella to protect me from the rain, the bar staff had wine in my hand almost before I said hello and our waiter, Dane, was exceptional. He didn’t even laugh at me when I put soy sauce in my coffee instead of cream! True story.

So lets talk food! We had a huge variety of things. The menu has something for everyone. My vegetarian friend was thrilled with the menu because she had more than tofu to choose from. Of course what did she order? Fried tofu! She loved it. If you like spicy or slightly spicy food you are going to love this place. There is plenty of punch in several of the dishes.

Here is our list of dishes and ratings:

Appetizers

Edamame with sea salt and spicy chili: Very good.

Aja Salad with mixed greens and ginger soy dressing: Got a thumbs up.

Rainbow roll and Shrimp Tempura: Both sans fish smell and taste and really good texture.

Main courses

Honey Ginger Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas: This was my favorite of all the dishes. Very good!

Vietnamese Shaken Beef: Had a very good flavor.

Shrimp Thai Red Coconut Curry: My friend ate the whole thing.

King Crab Hot Pot: This was like a stew with huge chunks of crab and served with Jasmine Rice. Just a touch of spicy and perfect for a cold winter night.

Fried Tofu with Spinach and Spicy Garlic Sauce: Meatless and yummy.

Desserts

We were served a variety of 3 desserts. I remember one; Coconut Ice-cream. Because we were sharing I only took a couple of bites. I could have eaten the whole bowl alone.

Aja, great food, fantastic atmosphere and superb service. I give them my Random Review thumbs up!

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