Taka Moriuchi was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1962 and as a teenager, he dreamt of coming to the US. After graduating from high school, Taka worked as a sales rep for a shoe retail company called “Ginza Esperanza”. He went on to become a manager and merchandiser for the company, designing pumps and traveling to Europe every six months.
Taka left the shoe company after 10 years and bought a convenience store in Tokyo.
He soon learned of an opportunity for a lottery green card from a friend living in Atlanta, GA. He applied and was fortunately selected out of 240,000 applicants. Taka realized his dream of coming to the US on February 15, 1995.
Taka’s first job on American soil was as the assistant manager at Kobe steaks, where his responsibilities ranged from washing dishes and bussing tables to greeting guests. He quickly realized that sushi was becoming a popular trend in America, so he left his management position behind to learn the craft of sushi-making.
Taka began practicing the art of sushi at Soto when Soto opened his sushi restaurant in August 1995. He stayed on with the flourishing restaurant for four years before partnering with Kevin Rathbun to open Bluepointe in 1999. In February of 2002, Taka started his own restaurant known as “Taka Sushi Café.”
Taka’s revered sushi restaurant took on the “sushiandpassion” tagline in 2007. What is sushiandpassion? It is inspired by Barry Manilow’s famous song “Copacabana” in which he sings of “Music and Passion.”
As an avid Barry Manilow fan, Taka felt that Manilow’s perseverance mirrored his own. During a concert, he was impassioned by the message the Manilow shared with the crowd: “You can give in, give out. But don’t give up.” Since becoming the sole owner of Taka Sushi in 2006, Taka’s restaurant has become a renowned Buckhead dining establishment with celebrity patrons from Hollywood actors and professional athletes to musicians and TV personalities: John Travolta, the Dixie Chicks, Kiss, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Dallas Austin, Jake Gyllenhaal and more. Taka plans to enjoy his success on the beaches of Waikiki, where he plans to retire one day.
“Sheltered from the local party scene by a row of upscale salons, this small sushi restaurant resembles a sleepy Gulf Coast seafood shack.”
“I eat at Taka a lot because it is around the corner and I just can’t stand
how pretentious Soto is. Tonight was darn good and I just had to write
about it. We had the Thai style red snapper sashimi which came with
pine nuts, cilantro, shredded daikon/shizo mixture, and peanut
The Blissful Glutton
“In a world where oceans of fish dishes are done in paint-by-numbers style, Takao Moriuchi maintains a beautiful touch.”
“Sushi As Artistry” By Meridith Ford, Access Atlanta
“Taste sushi as it was meant to be: pristine, pure, fresh.
This intimate cafe from chef-owner Taka Moriuchi, a native of Hiroshima, specializes in sushi, but offers a wide range of hot and cold appetizers.”
“Taka takes his appetizer cues from his days at Soto. The list is extensive and the flavors unusual but mostly well-balanced, though I find I’m more taken with the sashimi and cold starters than I am with the hot.”
Bill Addison, Creative Loafing
“Sushi in Atlanta = Taka Sushi Cafe for me. They have the freshest fish. Sashimi is really the best here, but the rolls are good too.”
“This Buckhead sushi den attracts laid back locals (often toting mini sushi proteges). Remember where you are with a Home Depot or Diet Coke roll (flip the menu for translation). Go beyond creative names with noodles or a cold salad of snow crab and thinly sliced cucumber. Wall colors change annually to redefine the mood of the season, but the fresh food stays perfectly the same.”
“A longtime fan of American music and culture, Taka Moriuchi was ecstatic when he won a lottery green card to come to the United States in 1995. While learning English, he worked his way up from being a busboy at Kobe Steaks to become the sushi chef at Soto Japanese restaurant, then BluePointe. Now, he’s the owner of this upscale sushi joint, located in the Buckhead building formerly occupied by Taco Mac.”
City Guide AOL
“Sushi chef has way with words
Taka Sushi Cafe in Buckhead gets less of my business than I’d prefer. We’ve got sushi we like closer to home and are creatures of habit. But every time we visit, I am always reminded of what a thoughtful chef owner Taka Moriuchi is, both for his sushi bar creations and his hot food.”
“What’s For Dinner?” By John Kessler, AJC Evening Edge