Sushi Savvy

Authentic Japanese flavors arrive in West Midtown at sushi pop-up MUJŌ with New York City’s chef J. Trent Harris at the helm in partnership with Fred Castellucci

One meal was all it took to convince restaurateur Fred Castellucci of Castellucci Hospitality Group that Atlanta lacked an approachable, authentic sushi restaurant operating with true Southern hospitality. So long as New York City’s world-class sushi chef J. Trent Harris—who Castellucci said prepared him the best sushi dinner he’d ever tasted—would spearhead the new venture. After years in the making, Castellucci and Harris have opened elevated omakase sushi concept MUJŌ, where the offerings resemble art and Harris, most certainly, is an artist.

Hosted by West Midtown’s Cooks & Soldiers, the takeout-only pop-up offers a limited menu from Thursday to Sunday. Think rice bowls (donburi), small plates (zensai)—like snow crab and caviar or slow-cooked octopus—and 6- and 10-piece nigiri sushi options that reflect a modern take on Edomae tradition (fish aged and cured to elevate the natural flavor). “We’re respectful of the traditions, flavors and techniques of Edomae sushi, but use local ingredients when possible and play with the dishes subtly to make food that feels appropriate for who I am and where we are in Atlanta,” says Harris.

And Atlanta is lucky to have Harris. Thanks to MUJŌ, guests can now experience the flavors—and culture—of Japan from the comfort of their homes. “In Japanese there is a saying, ‘ichi-go ichi-e,’ which translates as ‘one time, one meeting,’” says Harris. “The term reminds people to cherish each moment in life because it can’t be repeated; each moment is always a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I hope our food can be a way for people to share a moment.”