Proof that there is a God and she listens to me: Yamato’s Japanese Sushi Bar
Sushi your thing?
4 out of 5
Spare me your sushi recommendations—that is, unless you agree that Yamato’s Japanese Sushi Restaurant on Grant is the best Sushi in Tucson.
Given the combination of expensive food and the fact that the owner-chef loves to play traditional Japanese talent/variety show music for the diners, which is just awful, you might think I’d recommend that you pass on Yamato’s. Trust me, the sushi makes up for everything.
As further proof, I stopped in last week for the 40th time, and there were two guys sitting across from one another having a Japanese noodle slurpathon. It was gross, and frankly there are few things, maybe pedophiles, that make me more uncomfortable than people slurping anything. I once forced a roommate out of my house because he couldn’t eat cereal in silence. I share this because even the Japanese National Olympic Slurping Team could not run me off of my Yamato fix. And so I stuck it out, and my Salmon and Tuna Nigiri along with a Spicy Tuna Roll were, as always, sublime.
I think one of the guys slurping the soup choked on it and shot a noodle out of his nose onto the guy across the table. I mean, I don’t know what “Dude, you freakin’ suck, that was gross” sounds like in Japanese, but once the noodle hit the other guy’s arm, I took it as proof that there is indeed a god and she listens to me.
Sushi is not complicated. The rice needs to be perfect and the fish fresh. Yamato’s fish is always fresh, if not sweet, and his rice rises to a Jiro-Dreams-of-Sushi level of praiseworthiness. I could go on about perfect balance and…wait, you don’t know who Jiro is, because you probably failed to watch the 3 hour documentary on sushi and sushi rice called Jiro Dreams of Sushi? Wha? Netflix it. It may not be the most riveting 3 hours of your life, but if your desire is to become savvier about sushi culture, you will not regret doing so.
Yamato’s is date-worthy, not because of the decor, which is unchanged since 1970, or the friendly service, which can be a little slow at times, but because there is no better sushi in Tucson. A meal for two can easily run over $50. But hey, if you are looking for all-you-can-eat prices and the unfortunate ability to smell your sushi before it gets to your table, you’ve got lots of other options in Tucson, too.
You can find Yamato the sushi chef in his self-titled restaurant in yet another god-awful run-down strip mall space, at 857 E Grant Road. Phone 624-3377.
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