I don't know how many times I've driven past Yama Seafood L.A. on Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel and not really noticed this rather non-descript Japanese grocery store. Until March 2008 (I know, going a ways back for this one). How could I have missed the large "Sushi Takeout" and "Sushi" and "Sashimi" signs?
Sometimes, I'm not in the mood for a whole sit-down sushi restaurant experience. Sometimes, I just want a few sushi rolls, and you know the American grocery store versions are not gonna satisfy that craving!
Parking is around the back. I ducked in to see what Yama Seafood had to offer that day and have been happily indulging in freshly-made and inexpensive sushi and sashimi at this little mom and pop shop for years.
The market is pretty small and bare bones. Sushi rolls in the refrigerated case. On the opposite end is the fresh sashimi-grade fish counter. The sushi rolls are made in small batches and constantly replenished so they're fresh. Come around lunch-time and the selection is a little bit better, but if they don't immediately have what you want available, just put in a request at the seafood counter.
On the first visit long ago, I got salmon rolls, spicy tuna rolls, and mixed tray of California and veggie rolls. For only $3.95 each!
Here's a better look without the cellophane wrappers.
Doesn't the salmon roll look so fresh?
On another occasion, I got California rolls and requested a sushi plate with salmon, yellowtail (?), and octopus. The sushi plate was made fresh after I ordered and cost about $10. The best part was when the cashier filled a small plastic bag with ice so that my sushi wouldn't spoil on the drive home.
The California rolls are made with faux crab, but they're fresh and filling.
I don't really buy much of the packaged goods here, except for the occasional pantry restock of Kewpie Mayonnaise. And one time, couldn't resist getting a bottle of Pocari Sweat. I mean, I've drunk semen tea, so what's a little sweat? It actually tasted like a bland Gatorade so I could see this being refreshing on a hot summer day.
Salmon sushi, $5.95.
Spicy tuna rolls, $2.45. I know! Some great prices, huh?
Salmon and avocado California rolls, $3.95.
And on the most recent visit, I grabbed some spicy tuna rolls; seaweed salad, $1.99; nearly half a pound of tuna, $13; and half a pound of salmon, $10. I asked him to slice the skin off the salmon for me, and then later fried the skin with just a touch of salt to eat with rice.
Notice the bags of ice? Love that little touch. The tuna and salmon sashimi were for some homemade Hawaiian Salmon Poke and Hawaiian Spicy Tuna Poke that lasted me for several meals.
Anyway, so if you didn't know about this little gem before, sorry it took me so long to tell you about Yama Seafood. A few times, I've encountered a line at the seafood counter. Be patient! There's usually just Mr. Yama and one other guy slicing and weighing and wrapping that sushi for you.
Other sushi posts:
Kabuki Japanese Restaurant - Pasadena (Foothill Blvd.)
Kabuki Japanese Restaurant - Rancho Cucamonga
Sushi Komasa - Los Angeles (Little Tokyo)
Yoshida Restaurant and Sushi Bar - San Marino
Yama Seafood L.A.
911 W. Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Wednesday to Monday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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