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Yama Restaurant: rolling up something delicious to eat


Last updated 7/24/2008 at Noon

Chef Miki Ono shows how he makes a California roll at Yama Sushi in Fallbrook.

Searching for great Japanese food? Look no further than Yama Restaurant, conveniently located on South Main in Fallbrook. The ambience of this comfortable, casual restaurant compliments a scrumptious, authentic Japanese menu, along with mouthwatering sushi selections.

Hank Yamada, owner of Yama Sushi, makes it his mission to roll up the best sushi for his customers.

“The perfect ingredients that go into sushi are freshness and technique,” he said. “Freshness is really number one.”

Every other day, Yama receives a large delivery of fish. “Most of our fish comes directly from Japan,” explained Yamada.

In the wintertime, he explained, there is a larger selection of fish available, versus the other seasons. But despite a slower fish season, Yama’s sushi is still robust in flavor and top in quality.

Working alongside Yamada are two other outstanding sushi chefs who create artistic, delicious rolls. Yamada said each of these sushi chefs has about 25 years in the business.

“I’m the youngest one out of the sushi chefs,” Yamada said with a laugh.

These adventurous sushi chefs happily take personal requests for items not featured on the sushi menu.

“You tell us what you want and we will roll it up and make it,” Yamada said. Customer requests have a tendency to be very creative, bold and delicious.

“Our ‘no name’ roll was created by a customer,” said Yamada. This eight-piece gigantic roll, laced with masago sauce, contains the ingredients of a shrimp roll, rainbow roll, tuna, salmon and snapper. Mystified as to what to name it, calling it the ‘no name roll’ was ideal.

At Yama, it’s easy for a customer to say he or she has their very own personal sushi chef.

For those new to sushi, Yamada recommends staring out with a California roll and/or a Shrimp Crunch roll. In fact, these are the most popular sushi selections at this restaurant.

For sushi aficionados, Yamada suggests diving into aji, which is prepared sashimi style. Aji, he explained, is Spanish mackerel.

Over the years, sushi and sashimi have indisputably grown in popularity. Yamada said the health benefits are the reason.

“Sushi is a healthy way to eat,” he said.

This expert went on to explain that sushi is a healthy food, high in protein and low in fat. Some fish selections offer high Omega-3 fatty acids.

“Sushi is a good thing to eat when people are on diets,” Yamada noted.

For non-sushi eaters, Yama’s menu is bountiful with tempura and teriyaki selections. Their combination plates are excellent and reasonable on the pocketbook.

“We try to keep our prices reasonable and affordable,” said Yamada. “We haven’t changed the prices in about five years.”

Operating a restaurant is a great deal of work and takes steadfast dedication, but Yamada says that his quality chefs and other members of the staff make his job run smoothly.

A close-up of a California roll made by Chef Ono.

In Fallbrook since 1999, Yama Restaurant has established a long list of loyal patrons and continues to enjoy new relationships each day.

“I want our customers to enjoy the food, because if they are happy, we are happy,” Yamada said.

Yama Restaurant at 1067 South Main is opened for lunch and dinner. For more information, orders to go or catering service, call (760) 723-9788.

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