A new-to-market restaurant is joining the growing roster of tenants at Star Metals on Atlanta’s Westside. wagamama, a London-based Asian restaurant specializing in Japanese cuisine, has leased the roughly 3,600 square foot space at the corner of 11th Street and Howell Mill Road, according to recently installed signage. The new Star Metals outpost will be wagamama’s first location in Atlanta and just its seventh location stateside.
As the restaurant tells it:
“wagamama means naughty child, one who is willful or determined…we’re never afraid to say what we believe in. never afraid to be different, be bold and to stand out. we don’t do mindless corporate talk, we don’t even do capital letters!”
The restaurant’s menu features a wide variety of big plates, shareables, wraps and desserts. For those like ToNeTo Atlanta’s editor who are embarking on an “aspirational vegetarian” lifestyle, wagamama offers several vegetarian options including “avant gard’n: barbecue-glazed seitan served with a coconut + sriracha vegan ‘egg’, grilled shiitake mushrooms+asparagus” and the “kare burosu ramen: shichimi-coated tofu+grilled mixed mushrooms on a bed of udon noodles in a curried vegetable broth.” Classic ramen and teppanyaki dishes as well as various wraps and bao and dumplings are also offered, according to the restaurant’s online menu.
wagamama joins Alabama’s Prevail Coffee Roasters, Virginia Beach’s PlantHouse, Atlanta’s SAVI Provisions and the UK’s Flight Club, a social darts bar, as confirmed tenants in the multi-phase, mixed-use development reshaping the Westside.
Permits for wagamama have yet to be filed so it’s unlikely the restaurant will open before the first half of next year.
Have you ever eaten at a wagamama restaurant? What is your favorite current or upcoming Westside restaurant? If wagamama expands in Atlanta, where else would you like to see them open?
Please share your thoughts below.
Wei Authentic Chinese quietly opened last week in Buford. The restaurant, a sibling of sorts to the restaurant by the same name in Marietta, features a more diverse menu than its Cobb county relative but still has several favorites. Whereas Wei Marietta leans heavily to Szechuan offerings, Wei Buford’s menu is fairly evenly split between food of Northern China, Szechuan, Cantonese and “American Chinese” preparations. The original Wei opened last June on South Marietta Parkway, just off the Marietta Square.
Like several others in metro Atlanta, Wei was created by serial restaurateur Gary Lin. In recent years Lin has taken a step back from cooking and operating his restaurants to become a Ford Fry-like figure in the Chinese food community. Lin secures the space, creates the concept, hires a chef and partners with others in his network to operate and staff the restaurant. Fry, who originally cooked in and ran his own restaurants, is today far less involved in the day to day operations of his eateries, collectively Rocket Farm Restaurants.
In opening in Buford, Lin, who himself recently relocated to Suwanee, hopes to bring to the area something he felt it was sorely lacking: authentic Chinese cuisine.
Wei features classic Chinese dishes like Peking Duck (offered as whole or half), Mapo Tofu, Spicy Chongqing Chicken and various clay pot offerings alongside popular “American-Chinese” dishes like Mongolian Beef, Orange Chicken and various fried rice and noodle dishes, among other menu selections. For ToNeTo Atlanta, a favorite at the Marietta outpost that carries over to Buford is the fresh-made steamed bao and dumplings (also offered fried) with a variety of meat or vegetarian options.
In addition to the two Wei locations, Lin is a partner in Hai Chinese in Suburban Plaza near Decatur and on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta, Urban Wu in Piedmont Peachtree Crossing in Buckhead and Hao Chinese in East Point.
Wei Marietta has amassed more than 350 reviews combined between Yelp and Google with an overall 4.5 rating. The Buford outpost has already garnered 25 reviews between the two sites with a cumulative five star rating.
Have you been to Wei in Buford? What is your favorite Chinese dish? Where would you like to see Gary open his next restaurant?
Please share your thoughts below.
We’re excited to announce that live, in-person free fitness classes have resumed and we can’t wait for you to find your personal fitness connection to the Atlanta BeltLine. Enjoy the chance to get outside as well as practice healthy self care. All fitness levels are welcome to join the fun.
Watch for more classes to be announced soon! You can sign up for the following sessions today:
- Cardio Sculpt: Saturdays at 9 a.m., Adair Park 1 —> Register
- Aerobics 2021: Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., Historic Fourth Ward Park Amphitheater —> Register
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- Movers and Pacers: Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark Field —> Register
- How to Ride a Bike for Kids (REI): Saturday, Aug. 21, 8 – 10 a.m., Lee + White Parking Lot —> Register
- How to Ride a Bike for Adults (REI): Saturday, Aug. 21, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m., Lee + White Parking Lot —> Register
- How to Ride a Bike for Kids (REI): Saturday, Aug. 21, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Lee + White Parking Lot —> Register
Thanks to Kaiser Permanente, Ponce City Market, Resurgens Orthopaedics, and New Belgium Brewing for their generous support of our free fitness program!