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Yamato. Extraordinary Sushi and Ramen in Tucson

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I mentioned this place in the Best of Tucson thread, but this place is so outstanding that they deserve their own thread. I am still painfully full while I write this, but I don't want to forget to do it like I did last time.

We have been twice in the last six months (as we have only been in Tucson twice in the last six months). This is a family owned place. The father is a sushi master, the mother works in the kitchen and their son waits tables.

The sushi is amazing. I have lived in NYC, DC, Boston and Atlanta and this is as good as their best and way better than most. He cares about the quality of the fish and takes tremendous pride in his work which puts out such an extraordinary product. I will try to remember everything...

He cures his own salmon. It is incredible. I was told a story once about thieves breaking in and only stealing the salmon. It is that good.

Every time we went we have had fluke, fluke wings, urchin (uni), cured salmon and perfect tamago (omelet kinda thing which he excels at). Some of the specials (on the board behind the sushi counter) we have had are jellyfish, raw squid (ika), scallops (from japan) monk fish pate (home made), spanish mackeral (aji), baked green lip mussels with a spicy mayo on them and rice.

He will serve omakase if you sit at the bar, tonight we were at a table and he made me a "chef's plate" as we were at a table. I received a "blackened" scallop which was a raw scallop hit with a torch and given just a little bit of color, toro (with a little gold flake, so cute), sea eel (which I am embarrassed to admit I have never tried before, but was excellent) and lastly a different cut of tuna. His passion and drive for quality make this place top of its class (in any city).

Another thing that is amazing here is the ramen. They get fresh made ramen noodles somewhere. It is not dried ramen! They have three stocks to choose from the but pork stock is light and flavorful and amazing. It is the one the son recommends. This ramen is the best ramen one can get without going to Japan directly. Amazing.

We had a curry udon tonight. It was a nice bowl of soup. A little sweet a little spicy, thicker than I expected, but very good. Yellow tail cheeks/ collars (I think yellow tail). We loved these and got them the last two times, comes with a nice little dipping sauce similar to tempura sauce. I can't remember if it was on the menu or not. We had tempura plate tonight for the kids, it was fine, typical. Lastly, we had fried ice cream. It was fun and good. They only have a few a night because it takes up too much room in the freezer.

Talk to Yuki (sp?). He is the son, working the front. He knows his stuff and he knows what is good and he will tell you. He is awesome. This place is awesome. Tucson has no idea what they have here in their back yard. They have been there for near three decades and they might retire soon! I say go eat there now! And often! And a lot!!!

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  1. You're welcome for the recommendation. ;)