Review: Yamato Restaurant

by Kelsey

In anticipation of my roommate’s 22nd birthday next week, a group of us went tonight to Yamato Restaurant to fulfill our sushi cravings and celebrate together. Located on the prominent corner of Westwood and Kinross, Yamato’s is close and convenient, a perfect choice for quick drinks or a dressy dinner party. The most alluring appeal of the restaurant is its Happy Hour: every day of the week, starting at 5pm and ending when the restaurant closes, all of the appetizers and sushi are half price.

The crunchy rice and salmon roll is the quiet winner on the menu (about $4.50 with the discount), with its incredible texture of lightly-fried rice rolled and topped with a generous portion of fresh salmon. Another favorite of ours was the 911 roll, an inside-out spicy tuna roll topped with fresh avocado that delights the palate with its flavorful kick. We also tried the edamame appetizer, which lacked the freshness of edamame from other restaurants but was pleasantly warm and salted. All of the dishes were presented beautifully, on modern white squared plates or long, patterned rectangular sushi plates, garnished with fresh pink ginger and tangy wasabi.

For atmosphere, Yamato’s is clearly at the forefront of Westwood’s college-town pizza parlors, coffee shops, and burrito joints. The shiny white marble of the old Westwood Bank building with simple Japanese artwork and glass accents gives the restaurant a classy, modern feel. (Although currently a Darth Maul statue and a gaudy tree of Christmas lights greet the restaurant-goer at the front door, standing somewhat out of place.) If you care about such things, the restaurant hangs a “B” rating on its front window but has no apparent cleanliness issues. The service was friendly and efficient, delivering our multiple orders quickly and chatting casually about the last football game in between. Making a reservation for ten people days in advance was no problem.

Yamato’s has made its quality Japanese fare readily available to its community – made up primarily of starving UCLA college students – while maintaining quality cuisine and service.

Yamato Restaurant
(310) 208-0100
1099 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Happy hour: 5pm-11pm

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