Want a quickie? That was the feeling I got after recently visiting Happy Sumo in Dunwoody, Georgia for my birthday. It must have been the feeling a lot of other people had too, because many were outside afterward smoking cigarettes. Although, it could have been to get the bad taste out of their mouth’s.
But, I regress. Let me start from the beginning. I have been to Japan, studied Japanese, and know the difference between Americanized-Japanese food and the real thing. I know this is not Japan but I appreciate finding good food for a good price in a good atmosphere with good service. Happy Sumo did not come through.
The interior/exterior is about what you’d expect of a typical U.S. Japanese Steak House. Decor and music try to create a pseudo-oriental ambiance. Tables, tatami rooms, and hibachi grills packed with people.
So we go in and get seated at a hibachi grill. Swish-swish-clank, swish-swish-clank, swish-swish-clank come the sounds of the server whisking around the table and dropping off the warm towelettes. No sooner had we wiped our hands than a second round of swish-swish-pock, swish-swish-pock, as the towelettes were gathered up and a cup of Miso soup plopped down in front of everyone.
Shortly after that our orders were taken followed by a scurrying of wheels as the chef rolled up to the table for the nights entertainment. Ting-tah-tingtingting followed by a whoosh of flame and then more ting-tinging. Everything about the meal was hurried and rushed. The kids loved it — they have very short attention spans. The adults, however, never really got a chance to enjoy the evening. No sooner had the chef wheeled away to his next table than the owner (?) came by and asked if there would be anything else. We said, “no thank you” as myself and friends were finishing up dinner and preparing to visit and open some unexpected cards and gifts. Suddenly, the owner (?) came back to the table with the check and asked us to leave the table so others could sit down.
That was a first!
I do not think I have EVER been to a restaurant in any country where I was asked to get moving because there was a line outside. If the establishment is good, a customer is willing to wait — thus the concept of a “wait time.”
This told me a lot about the priorities of Happy Sumo. It was not for the benefit of the waiting customers, because I am sure they were hurried through their meal experience as well. This was more about the money and turning tables, which frankly left a bad taste in mouth. As a result, I will not be back or recommend this restaurant.
love your writing style Eric.
Happy birthday by the way! (Sorry your meal wasn’t up to par…)