by Jaime Lin Weinstein
If you want to go where the chefs go, head to Octopus Bar, a late-night spot that serves up Asian and European-inspired fare long after most other kitchens have closed. Open nightly, 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Octopus Bar is the type of place where you can get oysters on the half shell and spicy Korean pork with a Mexican coke float — all while lounging in a darkly-lit patio surrounded by graffitied wooden walls. Plus, if it’s good enough for Anthony Bourdain, it’s certainly good enough for us. The TV personality stopped by during his Atlanta episode of “The Layover.”
560 Gresham Ave. SE
Leave it to the guys behind octopus bar — chefs Angus Brown and Nhan Le — to join forces again and create a James Beard-nominated restaurant. Lusca, referring to the gigantic octopus of Caribbean lore, takes heed from its late-night counterpart in a lean toward seafood, but brings more diverse offerings including an in-house charcuterie program and a market- driven menu. The decor is decidedly different, however — a clean, minimal design suits its Buckhead neighborhood — but an orange painted octopus that lords over the bar lets you know where its roots are.
Enjoy it while you can: Lusca is set to close in the spring, when a new Brown/Le venture, Ama, opens. Located at 716 Ponce de Leon Place NE in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood, the word is Ama will focus on wood-grilled seafood in a much smaller (40-seat) locale.
1829 Peachtree Rd. NE