Thursday, August 18, 2005

Restaurant Yama

This morning, I had to return some video's to videotheque, my favorite video store in South Pasadena. Afterward, I cruised down Fremont Ave into Alhambra to enjoy a sushi and teriyaki combo lunch at Restaurant Yama (433 West Main Street). This relaxed little joint has been dishing out sushi, sashimi, teriyaki and tempura since it opened in 1968.

The clientele was mostly local, Asian folks with the occasional lone business man. There was also a table of six cable guys on their lunch break who were obviously regulars. I ordered the california roll/tuna roll/beef teriyaki lunch combination. The teriyaki sauce was delicious; subtle and a little bit sweet. In fact, if I were to come here for dinner, I would probably avoid the sushi altogether and load up on a teriyaki dish. The cable guys, by the way, were going nuts over the tempura which I did not try. The real hit, for me, was the miso soup. It packed more punch than any miso I've had recently. It was unusually darker in color. The salad that arrived with my meal was topped with a tangy, French dressing. It had a slight horseradish taste to it and reminded me of a bloody mary. And speaking of bloody marys, I tried to order a beer, but the waitress said they don't have beer even though the menu clearly advertises Asahi and Kirin. I guess she didn't understand me. I did, however, order the hot saki which was, I have to say, dreadful. It was like drinking boiled, grain alcohol. I had 3 of them.

Restaurant Yama is certainly not worth driving a long way for, but as a neighborhood, Japanese joint, it's great. It's small. There are only 12 tables. It was completely full at lunch today. And you can't beat the price: I paid $7.50 for 6 rolls of sushi, beef teriyaki, a salad, rice and miso soup.

O.k. folks! Until tomorrow....


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