Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Domo Arigato for Yamato

Yamato of Apex is a relatively new addition to the Japanese and sushi scene, and I must confess that I didn’t have high expectations prior to visiting. Several former restaurants in this locale were, let’s just say, less than quality establishments, so it’s somewhat ambitious for an Asian place to open in such a dubious spot.

Once I arrived, ordered and tasted the food, however, all my preconceived concerns were proven erroneous. Never mind the cozy ambiance and efficient service, which proved a most pleasant surprise.

At lunchtime, the requisite Bento box is available for $8.95, but even more attractive are the daily specials such as teriyaki chicken and hibachi steak, which are attractively priced around $6. 

For my money, though, the best deals going are the Maki specials, which feature choice of house salad or soup with two rolls (from among 14 choices) plus hot green tea, iced tea or soft drink all for just $9.95. I had a tough time deciding which rolls to try, so I opted for tuna and spicy salmon. The tuna roll tasted fresh and delicious, while the spicy salmon was flavorsome but lacked the expected piquancy. All was forgiven, though, when my server promptly delivered my requested side of eel sauce for dipping purposes. 

Next time around I want to try the Yamato roll, which features tuna, crab, salmon, yellowtail, eel and mayo. Hungry yet?

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of my experience was meeting winsome owner and sushi chef Van Yueh, who appeared at my table and asked how I enjoyed my meal. He even sat down for a moment and took time to answer a question I asked (“Why do some places serve pink ginger and others serve white ginger?” You’ll just have go and find out for yourself!). This was a huge Lunchboy brownie points bonus, since I’m consistently harping on restaurants for lacking adequate service. 

Chef Yueh also encouraged me to come back and sit at the sushi bar, where he can prepare me some of his distinctive specialty rolls. You’d better believe I’m going to take him up on it soon. Domo arigato, Chef Yueh!

Yamato of Apex on Urbanspoon

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