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By Nathalie Taylor
Special to the Village News 

Savor Yama's sushi and other bold culinary creations


Last updated 11/30/2018 at 2:42pm

Nathalie Taylor photos

The innovative "Avo Bomb" is a mound of spicy tuna, wrapped with avocado, and topped with masago and green onions.

There is a certain allure and almost mystery to Yama's sushi creations. Maybe it is the technique – the quick and adept way sushi is created. Maybe it is the confidence that the food is fresh and healthful. just might be the excitement of eating something exotic like unago (eel) or uni (sea urchin).

I am extremely fond of sushi and have eaten a lot of it over the years, but am still thrilled and quite appreciative of the artistry that is involved in making these culinary works of art. Of course, if the sushi is beautiful, but not flavorful, then it is no more alive than a painting or photograph. But, at Yama Restaurant and Sushi in Fallbrook, we need never worry about that. Not only is their sushi beautiful, it is also flavorful.

Sushi has evolved over the years, and each sushi aficionado probably has their own definition of what makes sushi delicious. However, the variety found in Yama's extensive menu is sure to pique the interest of every sushi lover.

One of the most provocative items on Yama's "specials" menu is the Avo Bomb, made with spicy tuna enveloped in avocado slices. The tuna is called spicy, but don't let the name fool you – it is spicy in terms of exotic flavor, but it is not spicy hot. Eel sauce drizzled on the top seeps marvelously between the slices of avocado. Bright orange masago (smelt caviar) and green onions crown the creation and make the flavors pop. The avocado is smooth, and the eel sauce, with a light sprinkling of sesame seeds, lends an exotic, slightly spicy, flavor. Delicate wisps of red beets and white turnips add flavor and brighten the plate. All of these components – including artistic plating – meld to create a definite taste explosion.

Delicate wisps of beets and turnips brighten the "Avo Bomb" plate.

But, Yama is not just sushi. Chicken Teriyaki with Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura is only one of their delicious Japanese entrees. Small chunks of fresh chicken are drenched with a light teriyaki sauce. Yama's Shrimp Tempura is airy, and the shrimp are large, but very tender. Thinly sliced sweet potatoes, broccoli and peas are dipped in tempura batter and sizzled to perfection. Miso Soup accompanies the meal, and is a light and pleasing mix of broth and tofu with a few green onions tossed in for flavor. Steamed rice and a green salad topped with slightly sweet miso dressing complete the serving.

Owner Steve Yama is industrious as well as friendly. When I walk in the door, he always greets me from behind the counter where he is busy making some kind of mysterious sushi creation.

Yama's menu is extensive, so I haven't sampled everything, but I have enjoyed sushi, salmon, soups, noodles, seaweed salad...and the list goes on and an enticing and bold sushi roll.

Yama Restaurant and Sushi is located at 1067 S. Main Ave. in Fallbrook. Telephone: (760) 723-9788. Website:


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