Last night I had the priviledge of entertaining my friend Marc who is in from Switzerland along with some of his friends. Lucky for me I was introduced to a very interesting group of professionals all involved in the development of peace through sports. Since we began the night at Pig & Whistle, which I must add had a horrible beer selection (on tap), I suggested we walk a few short blocks to Yama (49) for dinner.
I was first turned on to Yama by my Wisconsin friends, though I was not too impressed on my first visit. But after dining at Yama many times, I’ve developed a great appreciation for this seemingly hidden neighborhood gem.
The more times I went, the more I enjoyed it and not only because of the company. Usually I dine at Yama while catching up with my Wisconsin friends who I haven’t seen in a while and not really paying as much attention to my sushi as I normally would. But my last few dinners at Yama have been phenomenal.
As you’ll see in this picture of the sushi we ordered last night, the presentation is wonderful. And each morsel from a piece of ikura or tobiko to the beautifully shiny salmon, both appeared and tasted incredibly fresh. Yama takes great care in creating their roles from the perfectly sliced cucumber surrounding the “I Like Eel” roll to the drizzling of the spicy mayonnaise.
It only seemed right to share this wonderful sushi haven with friends that wouldn’t have come across such mouthwatering sushi as Yama. And since everyone seemed to trust my palette, I was chosen to order for the table, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Because I LOVE to share, I ordered a bunch of their “special rolls” for all of us to indulge in. I decided upon a variety of rolls including eel, scallop, tuna, and salmon which were all quite yummy. I had requested they serve the sushi with a side of their famous carrot ginger dressing. I have to say that Yama has THE BEST ginger dressing in all of Manhattan and though my friends visiting wouldn’t know how it compares to the rest of New York’s offerings, they had to agree. I believe the large amount of oil Yama use’s in creating it is what makes the dressing just that good.
The ambiance at Yama is a nice compliment to their delectable sushi. Its darkly designed interior contrasts nicely with the irridescently white sushi bar where “cute old men” as my friend called it, slice Yama’s fresh fish. Yama’s zen-like interior is a refreshing alternative to the other pub-style and Italian eateries that flood the east 50’s.
So, if you’re looking to impress visitors or are craving an obnoxiously large sushi roll, head to Yama 49 (the best of the three).
308 East 49th Street
(Between 2nd & 1st Avenues)