Traveling In My World by Michael Andre Adams for HW
Surprisingly, August was somewhat mild in Atlanta in terms of temperatures, which made cruising the city in this Limited Edition 2008 Saab 9-3 Lynx Yellow Convertible a show stopping adventure.
Debuting mid way through 2008 and fully loaded at the $44,000 Aero trim level, Saab set if off with a fully automatic soft top, a 250 horsepower turbo engine with a standard 6-speed manual transmission that won’t kill you on gas (takes premium unleaded), those cool xenon headlights and OnStar in place of a navigation system. This is perfect weekend whip whether you’re living in the city or the burbs!
On the entertainment scene, the legendary Return to Forever Tour kicked things off with a sold out one night performance full of true jazz aficionados rising to their feet after nearly every song, which is to be expected when you have the likes of Stanley Clarke, Chic Corea, Lenny White and Al Dimeola on stage together.
These kats held it down, as in REAL music for the mind. And if you missed it, you missed up, because the tour has ended and they’ve left the building! Meanwhile, see what you can find at www.return2forever.com
Erika, as in Ms. Badu did her thing last month in Chastain Park’s ampitheater, which unfortunately, I missed, along with jazz funk artist Omar at Sugar Hill, a soulful club setting in the dowtown (Underground) area of the city where Roy Ayers is scheduled to appear this month.
Next up in the category of worthy mention was Jasmine Guy’s directorial debut (on stage) in FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF…
Michael with Renaissance woman Jasmine Guy
Under the direction of the actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, direction, mother of nine-year-old Imani and Atlanta native, six women under the influence of poetry, music and dance reinterpreted their experiences of pleasures and pain of daily living that was created by Ntozake Shange in 1975. Running for just 10-days, the play opened to rave reviews throughout the city and sold out nightly at the quaint 14th street theater. Go Jasmine! Go Jasmine!
In a partnership between Atlanta’s own Chris “Luda” Bridges and San Francisco’s celebrated Chef Chris Yeo, STRAITS RESTAURANT made its ATL debut most recently. Said to be Luda’s favorite, the crispy Kung Pao Chicken Lollipops ($10) have a sweet kick that begs you not to stop.
Michael profiling with Chris “Luda” Bridges
My absolute favorite, however, is the flaky, insatiably moist Roti Prata ($7) with yellow curry dipping sauce and the Murtabak Roti ($9) stuffed with minced beef and curry that explodes with flavor. And they make a lemongrass-mint soda ($3.50) that puts 7-Up to shame! In it’s newness it lacks a little luster in terms of décor, but is nevertheless worthy of a visit. www.straitsrestaurants.com
From Singapore to sushi, my next experience of the hot and new on the Atlanta CuiScene included a visit to newcomer, STEEL, where from the moment you hit the door, you know you are being served.
The author with Master Sushi Chef Jeff Voung
In addition to the must try Tuna Tower ($16) with layers of textures and flavors including sticky rice, spicy tuna, crab meat and salmon roe and the crab mango spring rolls ($9) that bring a sense of total refreshment to the mouth and satisfaction to the palate, you must experience the artistic splendor of Master Sushi Chef Jeff Voung. If you love sushi you know that master sushi chefs don’t exactly come a dime a dozen. This one has both madd sushi skills and lots of personality. Be sure to ask for a seat at the sushi bar to fully experience Jeff in his element. www.steelatlanta.com
Also of worthy mention is the visit to Atlanta’s version of L.A.’s Geisha House financially backed by Hollywood hot shots like Ashton Kutcher and Wilmer Valderrama. Coming from Los Angeles, these people are perhaps the first (in my opinion) to really get Los Angeles in Atlanta. By that I mean to say the food and the service were each superb!
Michael arm-in-arm with Jeff Gelfond-director of wine & spirits
Make it easy on yourself by opting for the chef’s tasting consisting of the most appealing items on the menu beginning with udon noodles in miso broth with sweet beef ( I could have quit right here and felt completely satisfied—it was that good!), followed by Zensai, which includes spicy tuna sushi served on a bed of fried rice in absence of mayonnaise. In addition to an awesome Kobe beef strip that was charred to perfection, the meal included a sashimi selection with signature house sauce that in its uniqueness is best described as brown, light and damn good! All that in an atmosphere laden in luscious red and you can’t help but feel sexy—full stomach and all. Oh yeah, you can bowl it off a couple of doors down the street at Ten Pen, which is perhaps the coolest of the cool bowling alleys around. www.dolcegroup.com
With a calendar full of events in September, stay tuned, or meet me here in the city of Atlanta!
All photo credits taken with a Nikon Coolpix P60