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“To quote Poe, “Nevermore!””

Yamato Japanese Restaurant
Ranked #183 of 503 Restaurants in Ocala
Cuisines: Asian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed June 2, 2014

Maybe I am a little masochistic, but I will always visit a restaurant where I do not have a good experience at least twice to see if I maybe I just hit a bad day. … or not. After two absolutely terrible experiences with wretched service and inexperienced teppanyaki chefs at Yamato’s I had pretty much decided there was nothing to recommend this place to anyone. Then friends invited us to dinner. They wanted to try it and had made reservations. So, one more time it was off to Yamato’s, and one of my worst dining experiences ever. What follows is only a sampling of the experience we suffered through.

The teppanyaki chef’s idea of entertainment was to shoot tequila out of a squeeze bottle into the open mouths of two of the patrons at our table. . (Honest to goodness, this really happened. I have witnesses!). This, I regret to say, was the apex of his cooking skills. While the sauces (prepared by someone else beforehand) were good, the food itself was overcooked and the seafood was like rubber.

When I asked our server for chopstick rests she casually remarked, “We don’t have any of those.” This IS supposed to be a ‘Japanese’ steakhouse, isn’t it?

Then my wife wanted salt. When the waitress made her next appearance about ten minutes later I asked her for some salt. She pointed to the tequila cowboys at the other end of the table and told me I could go over there and get the salt shaker which rested between them. “Do you suppose I could get my own shaker?” She patted me on the shoulder and said “I’ll see what I can do.” It was almost at the end of the meal when, without a word, a busboy plopped a salt shaker on the bar between my wife and me.

When it came time to settle our bill, which was between $40 and $45 including the forced 18% gratuity, I put a $50. bill on the table. As she picked up my bill slip and money the server looked me in the eye, smiled and asked, “Do you want change?” I gotta hand it to her, she has guts!
Will I ever return? Will I ever recommend this place? To quote Poe, “Nevermore!”

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Jim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 - 65 of 89 reviews

Reviewed May 13, 2014

I surprised my husband by having 7 friends meet us here for his birthday. Chef was very good and entertaining. Food was great and you get a LOT. Have been here before and will go back.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank nursnanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2014 via mobile

This restaurant is great, nice design and such good value

We have been several times and this time we were with our family the services was very good and the chef entertaining

The quality and amount of food was fantastic and great value

In the past we have felt that the seats were too low for the tables but they have now introduced pads to raise the seats which is much better

Thank JHBtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2014 via mobile

My first time to this restaurant my wife's second. My daughter chose this place for her sweet sixteen dinner. I have been to several Japanese steak houses and sushi bars. The problems began when we could not be seated due to one person in our party not being here. To be fair there was also another party waiting who also was short one of their folks. Stay with we here because at this point your probably wondering what does that have to do with the price of tea at Yamato. Apparently there are two reasons according to staff. If they seat you they need to start the "process" of serving and apparently one person show up late will just mess up the whole process. Oh, and there are only two cooks working so you will be waiting a while. Maybe I'm off here folks but who runs a restaurant like this. Next issue. Tables. Chairs are either to short or table top to high. I'm not sure which. Our party even though all separate got to pay an automatic 18% gratuity. Oh back to the tables. Nice crack at the seams which collects lots of leftover food. Gross! The only positive thing I can say is that staff was friendly. If your looking for a good Japanese steak house in Ocala, Fla. Kotobuki's has never let us down. Take it for what it's worth.

1  Thank Floridakracker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I were traveling and stopped at The Homeward suites for the night. Yamato is within walking distance of the hotel. I ordered the teppan steak & shrimp. My husband ordered sushi. We ordered an appetizer; that unfortunately arrived with the meal. My dinner was overcooked, my husband's order arrived in waves and short the tilapia. When asked what Merlot was available, our waitress' response was "the red kind."

1  Thank Cookiesintn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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