Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Great Japanese cuisine served up fast at Yama Japan

High Quality, Reasonable Prices

On-the-go diners can quickly get stuck in a rut— burgers and chicken and tacos, oh my. If you want to eat on a budget, your options can feel limited, but Yama Japan Sushi and Hibachi is a place that provides delicious Japanese food at  jaw-dropping prices.

Plentiful and inexpensive

Located on Central Avenue, by Secor Road, Yama is an unassuming restaurant that specializes in creating a dizzying array of great Japanese dishes, from the traditional (sushi, sashimi) to the modern (sushi burritos, poke bowls). Each dish is crafted to order from the freshest ingredients, which makes the fast and friendly service all the more welcoming.

While most expect pricey, high-end cuisine when you hear “quality Japanese cuisine,” we were surprised by how inexpensive the options are at Yama— classic rolls start as low as $3.99 and the most expensive ones (with ten whole pieces) top out at $13.99. Our shock quickly turned to awe when we discovered the food is not only delicious but delivered in generous portions. For $33, we provided a great lunch spread for our office— with leftovers to spare.

Specialty takeout

If there’s a drawback to Yama’s presentation, it’s in their physical location. The eatery is located in a small shopping complex next to Piada and Wing Stop, in a space that once housed Macs N’ Melts. Spotlessly clean with a slightly dark ambiance propped up by simple, welcoming decor, including large murals and pictures depicting food, a massive prep area dominates the dining room, with seating for  only a couple of dozen diners.

However, the restaurant’s size is not a concern as takeout orders are Yama’s specialty. Our recent mega-order— set to satisfy a bunch of hungry writers back at the office— was no issue for Yama’s cheerful staff, who got us out the door with only a short wait.

A variety of delicious

We started with a traditional appetizer— edamame ($2.49). The steamed, salted soybean pods proved a tasty beginning, as soon as one member of our staff figured out that you aren’t actually supposed to swallow the pod. We won’t name names. (Courtney.)

Two excellent sushi rolls followed, cut into six slices each. A rainbow roll ($8.99) is basically the works, with avocado, cucumber and imitation crab topped with tuna, salmon and whitefish. The beautiful roll is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.

If raw isn’t your bag, there are plenty of cooked roll options on the menu as well. We tried the salmon skin roll ($4.99), the crispy skin a delicious counterpoint to the cucumber in each salty, tasty bite.

If you want to leave sushi behind, the hibachi grill offers a variety of mouth-watering hot dishes. We ordered the shrimp fried rice ($7.99), which proved a delightful take on a dish that is often too salty. Our serving may have had a bit too much pepper added, but your mileage may vary.


Then came the main event, the chicken tempura burrito ($7.99), a delightful concoction of fried chicken, avocado, cucumber and more, all in a rice and seaweed wrap. Despite our misgivings that it might just end up eating like a giant sushi roll, the chicken was still crisp and hot (even after transport) and the flavor proved sweet and delicious. The burrito, served with potato chips, makes for a perfect, out-of-the-ordinary lunch option.

Indeed, the whole of Yama’s menu falls under the unique category. If you want high-quality food at an astoundingly affordable price, this is one place in Toledo that’ll serve you well.

11am-9:30pm, Sundays.
11am-10pm, Mondays-Thursdays,
11am-10:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays.
Yama Japan Sushi and Hibachi, 3330 Central Ave., Ste A-3
419-720-1180. | yamajapanonline.com

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