A selection of local eateries recently featured in the Gwinnett Daily Post:
Like the lucky recipient of some sort of "Extreme Makeover: Restaurant Edition," Totori, which used to be part of the Joy of Tokyo franchise, has literally been redesigned from the ground up. The sushi selection has certainly been expanded, featuring new choices like the Bubba Gump Roll, filled with shrimp tempura, cream cheese and ginger, then drizzled with white wine sauce; and the self-titled Totori Roll, a batter-dipped California roll piled with shredded crab, masago and spicy mayo.
1430 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lawrenceville. 678-985-2203. www.totorigrill.com.
· The Jerk Shack
While not exactly a "shack" per se, this Jamacian restaurant is a quaint, modestly decorated dining spot devoted to serving authentic island cuisine. Jerk chicken is, not surprisingly, the most widely-ordered menu item at The Jerk Shack. Try a plate of this popular poultry, with its spicy, peppered skin, along with a side of crunchy carrots and cabbage, a warm pile of rice and beans and a few sweet slices of fried plantain.
1002 Duluth Highway, Lawrenceville. 678-407-0243.
The seating, limited to a couple of tiny tables and a small, green counter, calls to mind the cramped quarters of a Manhattan pizzeria, the off-the-beaten-path kind that New Yorkers cherish and tourists brag about being able to find. Pizzy's menu - full of fully-loaded pizzas prepared on a deliciously thin and crispy corn meal crust - will make you a repeat customer upon your first bite. Favorites include the Paradise Pizza, a blend of ricotta and feta cheeses loaded with delicious ripe tomatoes and spinach, and the Hawaiian Pizza, packed with savory ham, sweet pineapple and extra cheese.
2585 Cruse Road, Suite C, Lawrenceville. 770-995-2748.
Consider a visit to this sushi spot an instant escape from the impenetrable mall traffic that makes this end of Pleasant Hill a vehicular nightmare. The most popular selections on the menu are the Ichiban Roll, a spicy tuna roll topped with eel, shrimp and avocado; the Lily Special Roll, packed with red snapper and fried asparagus, covered in layers of eel and salmon, sprinkled with coconut and drizzled with sweet mustard sauce; and the King Tiger Roll.
1455 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 108, Lawrenceville. 770-931-8648. www.kinyobee.com.