Where sushi and hibachi chefs artfully prepare good food
Starting with the hearty “Hello!” upon entering, Yamato Japanese Restaurant is instantly familiar and comfortable. Everybody might not know your name at first, but give them time. This island spot, owned and operated by the Lo family, exudes a neighborhood vibe while serving up delicious food and exquisite sushi.
Diners feast on peerlessly fresh fish. Buttery slices of salmon, velvety pieces of yellow tail tuna or exotic sea urchin are presented two ways: nigiri, on rice; or sashimi, fish only.
Yamato’s experienced sushi chefs artfully execute plate upon plate of specialty maki and hand rolls. A new chef’s choice roll that features cuts of salmon and tuna stuffed with decadent Alaskan king crab is a magical marriage of taste and texture.
Yamato’s sushi menu is extensive, and the list of specialty rolls is especially enticing. The delicate White Dragon is a spicy salmon roll wrapped with thinly sliced white tuna, garnished with roe and lightly drizzled with a tangy sweet-and-sour sauce. The Three Sisters layers the textures of fresh tuna, yellow tail and salmon to create this trifecta roll. The Hurricane, a king crab roll, arrives draped in fresh salmon and accompanied by a spicy dipping sauce. A customer favorite is the spider roll with its crunchy, tiny soft shell crabs topped with avocado and served with special sauces.
During dinner, hibachi chefs clang their cleavers and juggle ingredients in the air. Patrons watch as their dinners are assembled before their eyes in an entertaining and lively way. Between lighting towering slices of onion on fire and bouncing morsels of food to customers’ plates (or straight into their mouths for the more playful), the chefs cook tender cuts of chicken, scallop, steak and shrimp skillfully.
Lunch is a relative bargain, including bountiful bowls of Japanese noodles, sushi combination specials and build-your-own bento boxes. Favorite entrees like teriyaki chicken, crispy pork katsu and shrimp tempura arrive with soup or salad, rice and your choice of half a dozen savory side dishes. The lunch mood is subdued and the service is swift and accommodating.
The Lo family is celebrating a milestone in 2017, when Yamato marks 30 years in business. As the business grew, so did the family. Owners Lisa and Yih Chern Lo’s three sons — Steven, Michael and Daniel — have grown up alongside the restaurant. The Los have created a warm, welcoming restaurant where locals and visitors alike are embraced.
Yamato Japanese Restaurant
2104 61st St., Galveston