Yamato is a resturant in the Old Pueblo that serves up authentic Japanese cuisine. Chef Noboru was born and raised in Nagano, Japan. He started working as a dishwasher in his uncle's restaurant, along with his brothers and other uncles. He came to Tucson in 1982 and in 1988 he opened Yamato with his wife Maria Kaneta.
When I went with my mom the place was small and intimate. In the back you could see Chef Noboru making sushi at the sushi bar talking to his regulars. There was an amazing collection of paper lanterns encircling the room. The were of course, there standard geishas and lucky cats too.
For our appetizer we had the Yakatori Beef ($3.95). The beef was char braised, skewered, and in teriyaki sauce. The beef was very tender and the sauce was sweet. There were also a hint of smokey flavor. It was an excellent way to start a meal.
My Mom, for her entree, ordered the Yakasoba ($8.50).The Yakasoba was composed of pan-fried beef, steammed vegetables, and noodles in akisoba sauce. The beef was tender like the Yakatori Beef in the appetizer. There was a slight peppery note to the sauce. It was further enhanced by the Siracha my mother put on.
For my entree, I ordered the Salmon & Ikura Don (14.95). It was composed of thinly sliced, fresh salmon with salmon roe served over a cooked rice. It was a wonderful dish. The salmon was fresh and light. The salmon roe were like little burst of flavor in every bite I took.
For dessert we ordered the Strawberry Mochi ($3.25). The Mochi was very smooth and had a fruity and pleasant flavor. It was a perfect way to end the meal.
Come to Yamato if you want a tradition Japanese fare.
857 E. Grant Rd. Mon-Sat 9am-9:44pm
(520) 645-3377 Sunday (closed)