Monday, August 1, 2011

Yama Japanese Restaurant

Yama's is a hidden gem on at the corner of Fayette Street and High Street in downtown Morgantown. A huge parking lot is right across from the restaurant, and occasionally you can find spots alone High Street. Otherwise, it's easiest to walk to this small Japanese restaurant. Before you make the trek, though, check out the hours. Like many traditional sushi places, Yama's closes for a portion of the afternoon. Typically, their hours are M-F 11:30 am-3 pm & 5 pm-8 pm; SAT noon-4 pm & 5 pm-8 pm; Closed on Sundays.

Beside from its red awning, Yama's is quite plain and demure on the outside. When you step in, though, Yama's comes to life. With only about eight or nine tables, the dining area is quite cozy, though whenever I've gone, I haven't seen it too packed. That's part of the appeal of a hidden gem.


You order at the counter, where a menu sits on Plexiglas. I opted for the crab, cucumber and avocado California Roll (because I've had them before, and I know they're delicious) and a glass of water. Here's the thing you need to remember about Yama's: They only take cash! This may required some extra prep work for many patrons, including myself, but it's obviously very worthy. And for 12 rolls for less than $10, it's a deal that's better than Kroger's. After I paid in cash, I took a seat near the wall. Cute little decorative pieces were found on each table, and I noticed a Japanese movie and book rental stand across from us.

Soon after, our food arrived on a gorgeous serving tray, complete with ginger and wasabi. I was also handed a small dish for my soy sauce. After breaking apart my chopsticks, I dug in. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the rolls have a creamy, almost buttery taste. It's heavenly. The crab mixture has tiny chunks of cucumber mixed in with it - not the typical cucumber sticks. It really makes the filling cohesive and tasty. The ingredients are all fresh, and I am a fan of the masaga (or roe) on the outside. For those who are squeamish about sushi, try the California roll because it's a good starter roll. Nothing is raw, and at least at Yama's, the flavors are absolutely explosive.


The lovely waitress came by periodically to refill my drink and make sure everything is okay. This place doesn't take cards, do delivery or anything fancy like that. But, if you're looking for delicious, traditional sushi rolls, try Yama's. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Check out my post about this on DubVmenus.tumblr.com

Grade: A
Yama on Urbanspoon