Now this is weird. I’ve eaten at one Ru San’s or another better than a dozen times, but I can’t remember a single occasion that lends itself to an anecdote worth relating. I remember watching DJ Shockley make a spectacular end zone dive when the Gamecocks came to town in 2005 at the one in Athens, but I was wasting time with somebody who didn’t like football that fall and might not have that quite right. I remember watching what must been a sixth generation VHS copy of an old Gundam cartoon at the one in Buckhead in 2004 and thinking that incredibly odd, that surely they could have laid their hands on a better copy of that. Of course I remember that my daughter shouts “Wasabi!” in the manner of South Park‘s “Timmy!” every time we walk into one of their locations. Perhaps sushi does not lend itself to anecdotes?
Ru San’s is a small chain with six locations around Atlanta, and four others in other southeastern cities. They specialize in really low-priced sushi. I find it perfectly acceptable food at very reasonable prices – last night, Marie and our daughter and I had supper here for under $20 – and am in no rush to try anybody else’s more expensive sushi, tempura or yakitori.
Ru San’s is a full-service Japanese restaurant, with the expected big seafood meals and bowls of soup the size of your head, but I think that the sushi is where they excel. They have a quite remarkable specials menu where you can order three pieces of maki or one of nigiri – more than two dozen varieties – for a dollar or two. Usually, I enjoy a small salad with ginger dressing and four orders of maki. That’s a quite filling meal for under $8, and I get to sample several different tastes.
My daughter’s even easier to please, since she has yet to leave her comfort zone of California rolls and has yet to ask for more than three orders. And Marie doesn’t actually like sushi, so she’ll either have fried rice – one gigantic order of which provides her with lunch the next day – and some vegetable tempura. Even though we keep it simple, there’s a lot to enjoy here. The food’s good and while the place can get extremely loud – must they crank the volume on the dance music quite so high? – the service is really attentive and we’ve never had a bad meal here. It’s always worth considering for a quick evening out.
There’s also one in Athens where I once had a memorable meal, apart from the girl I was then dating obliviously choosing to buy Gators-colored shoes that day. I mean, really! In front of me! And in ATHENS, too!