This past Saturday, the Missus was in the mood for some sushi and Japanese food, but I was a bit too tired to drive all the way to LA to Sushi Komasa or Sushi Gen. We also just wanted a quiet evening, so having recalled what Makoto at Restaurant Yakata said on my visit, "Saturdays nights are my slowest..." We decided to see if this was true, and drove down to National City. Well Makoto-san was correct, it was 630pm, and only two tables were taken, and the sushi bar was empty.
Being absolutely ravenous, we decided to order some food from the menu, and also a 10 piece Nigiri combination. I told Makoto, not to worry about price, just give us a variety.
The Missus started with Tempura Soba($6.50):
Soba, Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura, in a light broth, the Missus really enjoyed this.
I ordered the Tempura-Teriyaki Chicken Combo ($7.25). The dinner came with a bowl of miso, that was salty, but strangely very weak in miso flavor, and a green salad with a ginger-sesame dressing that was pretty good.
The Chicken Teriyaki was very uninspired, the sauce too sweet and watery.
The Tempura on the other hand was very good.
Though not very large, the shrimp had the perfect amount of crunchy batter, and the shrimp was cooked perfectly, soft and moist. The vegetables included were a broccoli floret, a thin slice of Kabocha, and a thin slice of Eggplant. The Tentsuyu(tempura dipping sauce) was fine, though I would have enjoyed some Daikon Oroshi(grated daikon) for the sauce. Still, this was a good amount of food for the price.
While we were eating the Nigiri arrived:
The Missus went straight for the Unagi, which is always the safe choice for Her and She enjoyed it. The Maguro was okay, and the Hamachi not as good as my previous visit. I thought the Sake(salmon) was quite good, as was the Saba. I had the Missus try the Mirugai(Giant Clam/Geoduck), which She really enjoyed, and the Hokkaido Hotategai(scallop) which She adored. The Tako(Octopus) was fine, as was the Ika(Squid), and Hirame.
Having figured out what She enjoyed we went for another round:
More good Mirugai, and excellent Hotategai. Makoto even remembered how I enjoyed eating my Aji. Up to this point in time, the Missus had always refused to eat Aji, associating it with the sometimes very fishy Saba. But tonight, She decided to give it a shot. As She ate the piece of Nigiri, Her eyes opened wide....."Wow, this is really good, almost milky in flavor, the texture is awesome!" I guess we'll be fighting over the Aji from now on.
All told, our fairly hefty dinner(no alcohol) came out to about $50, without tip. By no means cheap, but quite satisfying. As we left Yakata, the restaurant was totally empty. I guess Makoto is right about Saturday nights.....
So if you want to grab some pretty good sushi on a Saturday night, and not have to deal with noise, crowds, or traffic, Restaurant Yakata might be a good choice.
2424 Hoover Ave
National City, CA 91950