February 25, 2009

Sushi in 'Da Burbs

For whatever reason, I've eaten out more often than usual over the last two months. One place I've returned to several times is Yama Sushi on Rt. 228 in Cranberry/Seven Fields. Overall, the quality of the sushi and entrees we've had has been quite good.

Yama Sushi on Urbanspoon

First, the raw stuff. It's always been respectable, and at times has bordered on excellent. The yellow tail has been the most consistent performer. The tuna and salmon have been uneven, really enjoyable on one or two occasions and unremarkable on others. The fluke was particularly tender and tasty. The few rolls we've had have also been well prepared and fresh.

The apps and entrees. Again, these have been consistently good. The do bin mushi soup was really enjoyable: good portion of seafood and fresh, bright but tame flavors. Same for the nabe yaki udon noodles. Neither bowls you over, but simple and welcoming to eat.

I went for lunch one day and, for some strange reason, got the salmon teriyaki bento box. I say strange because I long ago stopped ordering salmon -- well, cooked salmon -- in restaurants. It's like there is a rule that salmon must be overcooked and underseasoned. And teriyaki just has come to be synonymous for overly sweet and sticky.

But, for whatever reason, on this day, teriyaki salmon sounded good. And it didn't disappoint. The salmon was moist. The teriyaki had a nice balance of tang and savory, and it really complemented the salmon instead of overwhelming it...

Food dork alert: On the Top Chef finale, Stefan just used a curse word and it was not bleeped out. I assume that will be edited out when it's replayed later this week in the middle of the afternoon. OK, back to your regularly scheduled food blog...

Accompanying the salmon were some perfectly steamed veg and a large "cup" of miso soup. An enjoyable lunch, indeed.

There aren't many options for sushi out this way, and Yama Sushi does its sushi and nonsushi offerings pretty darn well. Unfortunately, I've never seen it overly busy, so I hope it survives. I'll be one sad puppy if it doesn't.

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