What makes Yama Restaurant and Sushi Bar a 14-year-old success story? For one thing, their stellar line-up of sushi items – 34 to be exact. The regular menu is also brimming with tasty dishes to try; and some are rather exotic sounding. The “Fallbrook Flower,” a dish with avocado, salmon, and scallops baked with masago sauce, then topped with masago sauce and eel sauce is a treat from the sea. Another, not so exotic item, is the “Monkeyball,” a mushroom stuffed with spicy tuna, then tempura-fried.
Bustling with eat-in and take-out customers, Yama is a family-owned business with Shizuko (Susie) Miyamoto and Hank Yamada at the helm. In the midst of a soothing Japanese décor, diners may sit at the sushi bar or at tables. If that is not enough to spur you to visit, then I’ll tell you that they really know how to create delicious sushi. A recipe does not a masterpiece make – or something like that. The Yama sushi chefs know exactly what they are doing and don’t even work from recipes – it’s all done from memory.
The “No Name” roll is a Yama original. This sushi roll is a mix of so many wonderful ingredients that it was difficult to decide on a name…so they called it, “No Name.”
Sushi Chef Ono rolls up “No Name,” with skill. However, he is not only skillful, but quick – I wish that I had a taken a video of the “dance” he does while creating a sushi roll.
He deftly layers nori seaweed, steamed rice, avocado, ahi tuna, salmon – then it’s rolled and sprinkled with more good things — tempura crumbs, crab meat, then more tuna, salmon, and whitefish. With a flick of the wrist he tops the entire concoction with a few dabs of Cajun sauce. Sushi Chef Ono has been doing this for over 30 years – I think he knows a thing or two about rolling sushi.
The “No Name” is quite popular and I can understand why. They have the ingredient ratio down with just the right amount of everything. I could isolate flavors, but nothing overpowers. It is a good marriage of all ingredients.
Before sampling a sushi roll, first have a few bites of cucumber marinated in vinegar. Hank Yamada explained that this serves to heighten the senses of the palate and increase the intensity of flavor. Fresh ginger is used to refresh the palate between courses.
I also recommend Yama’s Shrimp Tempura. It’s light, airy and the shrimp are large, but very tender.
If you want healthful food, as well as flavorful dishes, Yama is the answer.
Yama Restaurant and Sushi Bar is located at 1067 South Main Avenue in Fallbrook. Please call (760) 723-9788 for hours or check www.yamasushi.biz where a full menu can be found.