Picking an Asian restaurant to eat out with friends is difficult with so many options in Atlanta. In this article, I'll be sharing three of my go-to trendy Asian eateries with amazing atmospheres, highlighting some of their signature dishes. Let's walk down the neon hallway, sit 'chef-side' at the sushi bar, and dive right into this list!

1. Brush Sushi Izakaya – Elevated Japanese

Located in downtown Decatur, Brush Izakaya offers some of the freshest Omakase options and Japanese pub fare in Atlanta. Its Dining Room menu features authentic quality ramen, house-made baos, and sushi rolls elevated with modern flavors and techniques. For those looking for a detailed high-quality meal, with exceptional service, in a calming atmosphere, with modern decor – this is the place for you.

For those looking to experience sushi at a higher level, Brush offers three Omakase options with 11 to 20 courses. Seated at the Sushi Bar, you will leave your meal in the hands of the chef to serve elegant, seasonal dishes, made with the finest ingredients available. The Omakase experience boasts seasonal and sustainable seafood sourced from across the U.S. and the Toyosu Market in Tokyo, and pairs it with the highest quality Koshihikari rice seasoned with Japanese vinegar, sea salt, and a hint of sugar, resulting in pieces of mouthwatering nigiri. The chef artfully guides you through a progression of bites over a two-hour dinner served with fresh wasabi while putting an incredible amount of care and deft knifework. I highly recommend splurging on this multi-course feast for a special occasion.

2. Ruby Chow's – Tapas for the Indecisive

Located across from Ponce City Market in the Old Fourth Ward, Ruby Chow's serves up Asian Fusion small plates in a beautiful indoor dining area filled with funky decor. If you choose to dine in its outdoor dining area, rest assured as it is fully covered, decorated with art, and surrounded by plenty of heaters. Choose from their menu spanning tapas inspired by Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, and even Italian cuisines, and watch your table slowly turn into a global map of innovative and absolutely delicious bites.

With such a unique variety of tapas available, it's hard to recommend just one. Standout options include the Pow Pow Shrimp, Roti Prata, and Shoyu Tamago. The one dish I would heavily recommend is the Cacio E Pepe. Featuring Pecorino Romano, Szechuan pepper, and garlic cream with an option to add a fried tonkatsu pork cutlet, the dish is one of the best representations of fusion West meets East cuisine. It's a classic interpretation of the simple Italian dish, with the addition of green onions and Szechuan pepper flavor that will perfectly complement the rest of your meal. For dessert, I recommend the Mango Sticky Rice. This classic Thai dessert is made with mangoes, in tandem with sticky rice, coconut milk, and sugar. Ruby Chow's provides their own spin with the addition of mango ice cream and mochi, creating a decadent dish that is sweet, creamy, tangy, and the perfect ending to your visit.

3. Gaja Korean Bar – Cheers! or 건배!

Located in the hip East Atlanta Village, the entrance to this popular Korean spot is so nondescript, you get that speakeasy feel. Once you've stepped inside, the interior and atmosphere feel as though you've stepped into a nightclub in Seoul. Gaja Korean Bar offers an incredibly hip atmosphere for drinks and tapas surrounded by eclectic Asian-inspired decor. Featuring classic Korean staples with a slight fusion twist like Beef Bibimbap and Korean Glass Noodles as well as tons of tapas like Rice Cakes and Korean Fried Chicken on its menu, expect to try a little bit of everything. Additionally, Gaja offers an expansive selection of refreshing cocktails, soju, and hard-to-find Asian liquor choices to give your night a buzz.

By the nature of tapas-style dining, it's incredibly hard to pick one dish to share with all your friends. Your meal will be complemented by an assortment of small side dishes called Banchan(반찬). These refreshing plates complement your dinner by cleansing your palate, as well as pairing smoothly with your drinks. As for the dishes you need to try, I recommend the crispy Pork Belly, Kimchi Fried Rice, and the Seafood Scallion Pancake. The Pork belly is braised, sliced, and topped with pickled radish and sesame seeds – before you wrap it in a lettuce leaf and shove it in your mouth. The Seafood Scallion Pancake is a savory pancake made of batter mixed with mussels, shrimp, and green onions. The result is an incredibly crispy dish that's perfect to share with friends. These suggestions should set you on the right path to having an amazing meal in a super-casual atmosphere.

Hopefully, the restaurants above get added to the top of that ever-growing list of restaurants you've been dying to go to on the notes app of your phone. Quick! Share these recommendations with your friends and get all the bragging rights when they love the food. Enjoy!