I recently enjoyed the enormous honor of lunching with Atlanta Eats’ Mara Davis, as well as recording a segment for her popular dining radio show. With a sense of humor, she recalled how I took umbrage to her describing Johns Creek stalwart Kozmo Gastro Pub as in, “An area drowning in chain restaurants.” Thems fighting words to your OTP dining gatekeeper. Quite ironic as my next dining editorial planned was touting the foodie haven said intersection hath evolved into. And here we are.
Five diverse, if not superb, options are positioned at said conjunction of Jones Bridge Road and Douglas Roads and a sixth about a football field’s length away.
Kozmo Gastro Pub: Owner Oswald Morgan is a pioneer in the “Bite Flight” to Johns Creek. He merited enormous esteem in Atlanta restaurant circles as co-owner of The Globe, Atlanta Magazine’s 2006 choice as “Restaurant of the Year” stationed just a few blocks from Georgia Tech.
Kozmo definitely built on that model, a trendy restaurant/bar serving top notch grub. Crowning the list of dining options is a duck confit poutine that is to die for — your arteries unfortunately may say, “literally.”
Cafe 101: Another Bite Flight entry, from the original owner of the Buford Highway ITP same-named staple, affable owner Simon brought ITP icon Chef Liu to prepare her famous soup (and other) dumplings.
The fact the owner is no longer affiliated with the original Cafe 101 nor is Chef Liu with her namesake restaurant understandably leads to mass confusion. But the food only leads to mass pilgrimage to this treasure.
Mithunas Takeaway: Appropriately named as this humble Sri Lankan dive is mostly takeaway, chock-full of vegetarian and non-vegetarian (always the pick of this pundit) selections. My fish (pompano) curry gets full approbation.
Noosh Kitchen: The last 3-4 years have seen a proliferation of Persian feasting destinations in Roswell, Alpharetta, and Johns Creek. Quality options abound, but Noosh is arguably the pick of the bunch.
El Trompo Mexican Taqueria: Spectacular Mexican street food with some choices for Tex-Mex lovers as well. But make no mistake, corn tortilla tacos stuffed with chorizo and al pastor lead the way. El Trompo is as good as, if not generally better, than what Buford Highway or Alpharetta Highway offers. It is truly that impressive.
RosaMia Ristorante Italiano: An “honorable mention” not because the quality falls short, but only because the location is a city block’s distance from the aforesaid crossroads. Named one of “The 12 Greatest Italian Restaurants in America” by Tabelog, this mid-priced Italian is another thriving restaurant within a few hundred yards of each other.
Okay, asserting it is top 12 in the entire country is a big charitable, but their Kobe beef carpaccio will please all levelheaded anticipations.
My admiration for the friendly and likeable Ms. Davis notwithstanding, I assert that Kozmos is flourishing in an area flooded with superior restaurants all at or very near the same preeminent foodie port of call.
The author Joe Duffy often preaches about OTP restaurants on Twitter @calvulcan. If his wife does not increase his allowance soon, he can’t eat. Help the boy out by patronizing his bride’s online gift store.