Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sushi Yama In Ellicott City

Am I right that Columbia has its own style of sushi?  Well, it certainly has a new sushi place that steps up the scene.

Somehow I discovered the "big roll" style here at Sushi King and Sushi Sono.  I went from sushi pieces and tuna rolls in Virginia to the magical combinations like Sono's #14 that wraps together tuna, seared salmon and a sauce with a bite.

Now, add Sushi Yama near the top of the list.  The new restaurant in the Dorsey Search village center off Rte 108 delivers fish that almost rivals Sushi Sono,  This is a unique variation on the "big roll" style with a price that is probably a step smaller.

With a friend, we blew out on our first visit with four "big rolls" that I'd absolutely order again.  Like the King and Sono rolls, the best ones relied on high-quality ingredients jazzed up by combinations and sauces.  "Tokyo" includes spicy yellowtail, avocado, tuna, salmon and honey wasabi sauce.  "Orange House" includes asparagus, sprouts, cucumber, and two styles of salmon.

The sprouts are the kind of touch that make me want to work through Sushi Yama's menu.  Like at King and Sono, the Yama kitchen puts together flavors that work, not just stuff they slapped on rice.  Those sprouts give a peppery flavor that paired with crisp asparagus and the fish.  In the "Columbia" roll, a sweet mango sauce brought together a mix of shrimp tempura, crab, pine nuts and avocado.

Our quality test recently has been salmon skin roll.  Bad ones come dry or just crunchy.  Yama's salmon skin had the crisp, but also a slight chew and strong salmon flavor that contrasts nicely with the more-complex big rolls.

After one visit, Sushi Yama hasn't pushed aside Sono as my favorite spot.  But I certainly saw that the prices were a touch lower, and I think there are two dozen rolls that I want to try.  Lots of interesting sauces that go hot and sweet -- a kimchi sauce, mango sauce, eel sauce used in rolls without eel.  Several interesting wrappers like pink soy paper.  That's all on top of a standard Japanese menu with terriyaki, tempura and udon.

Don't let the Ellicott City address fool you.  Sushi Yama is in Dorsey Search, which follows the Columbia style of making sure that nothing is visible from the main road.  Once you find the place, it's a surprisingly modern decor, definitely a place where you could take a date.

(Update: HoCo Rising points out that Sushi Yama isn't new to everyone.  It has apparently been open for two years.  Two years?  Someone's wife gets her hair cut in Dorsey Search, and I would have thought that a new restaurant two years ago would have warranted at least a takeout menu to bring home.  Hmmmmm.)

Sushi Yama
4725-G Dorsey Hall Dr 
Ellicott City, MD 21042

NEAR: This is in the Dorsey Hall village center.  It's just off Rte 108 a block west of Rte 29.  You turn north onto Columbia Road from Rte 108 and then turn right on Dorsey Hall Road  to get to the shopping center.  Sushi Yama is in the center.  This is down from the Hunan Legend restaurant and its authentic Chinese menu.

Yama Sushi on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

STOP with the sushi photos. You are going to bankrupt me. LOL. Yum!

dzoey said...

Sushi Yama is my local Sushi restaurant, and how great is it that Columbia has enough Sushi restaurants to have a "local" one? When I feel like sushi but don't want to drive to Sushi King, I can rely on Sushi Yama for a decent, relaxed, meal.

Chris said...

Been to this place many times & have never been disappointed. My girlfriend is especially enamored with the mango-flavored candies we get after the meal. We have also used their website to place a carryout order...fun!

kam said...

dzoey: It is great. :) It's really nice to have a lot of good choices.

I've only been to Yama once, but it was a lot of fun. The decor is interesting, but more important, the sushi is tasty. The fancier rolls are neat; I got the Honey Maki, which was wrapped in pink soy paper and shaped so that each piece was half of a heart. Adorable and fun to share with my husband. They also do well with the basics; we had a good salmon roll and a nice assortment of nigiri sushi.


Jenny said...

Yama Sushi was in the Baltimore Magazine's top 5 for sushi in August. http://www.baltimoremagazine.net/best-of/2011/08/best-of-baltimore-2011

In fact, it's the only Howard County sushi place on the list.

We've been going there since we moved here. Their presentation is great.

Kim said...

I agree the presentation is very nice. We really like the big roll that has mango and chili sauce. We've eaten there many times and have never been disappointed. It doesn't hurt at all that it's less than 10 minutes from home. :-)

Kim said...

I agree the presentation is very nice. We really like the big roll that has mango and chili sauce. We've eaten there many times and have never been disappointed. It doesn't hurt at all that it's less than 10 minutes from home. :-)

mdfoodlover said...

Thanks for the heads up on this place.
We went last night, & enjoyed the quiet mood, excellent food & service, & price.
I had the "halloween special" roll, which was a very fun combo of crab, avocado, tuna, & row on a pretty lighted platter with some white stringy "webs" and a little mango 7 golden sauce on top.
Also had the Dorseyhall roll.
Both were quite nice.
We will definately be going back