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“Great little hole in the wall with Bad Japanese Food”
Review of Yamaya Seafood

Yamaya Seafood
Ranked #198 of 889 Restaurants in Anchorage
Cuisines: Seafood
Neighborhood: Downtown
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: Downtown
Reviewed June 26, 2014

We went with expectations set by previous TripAdvisor reviewers. Thus we did not expect fancy atmosphere, superb service or lavish dishes. However, we did expect a rustic atmosphere and food that was described as fresh, homemade, and authentic Japanese fare.

While there was only one other party of 4 and the two of us in the dining room, it took over an hour to get our food. It appears that the chef cooks ONE dish at a time. No problem as we expected slow service. That gave us the opportunity to observe first hand how things were prepared as we had a direct view of the kitchen.

Everything we saw, other than sushi, was FROZEN, not fresh. Even the potsticker dumplings were frozen, prepared food.

Our squid appetizer and two main entrees tasted bland. The vegetables in the stir fry were frozen not fresh. And, their prices are NOT cheap!

We had nothing that was good or special and would never return.

The couple running the place were nice but does not make up for the disappointing food.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank William W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (53)
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28 - 32 of 53 reviews

Reviewed May 31, 2014

The only genuinely Japanese owned and run restaurant in Alaska.

The food is absolutely delicious with each dish prepared and cooked by the owner Sam. This a family run restaurant and you will not be disappointed.

In summer good idea to book. Enjoy.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

This was my second visit to this establishment. It is very small (reservations requested for any group larger than three). It is family run, the primary cooking being done by the owner, a first-generation Japanese who has been here for 30 years. If you are looking for standard Japanese fare, you may or may not find it here. If you are looking for speedy service, look elsewhere. What this establishment offers is authentic, down-home Japanese fare. Half the menu is appetizers, the kind of things to go with sake. It is a seafood restaurant, but it is not a sushi establishment. You can get a few sushi items, but that is not their specialty.

As a first gen Japanese myself, when in Anchorage, I choose this establishment over the others for a nice homey atmosphere and a good reminder and taste of home cooking.

6  Thank Mark K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Do not go expecting your typical Japanese menu. A family run place (we had a nice chat with Grandma). Food is plentiful and good, if not fancy. We had a variety of dishes and enjoyed them all. Convenient to the Hotel Captain Cook.

3  Thank Fossilexpress
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2013

This place is tiny, and the teensiest bit shall we say rugged? on the outside (get used to it, that is pretty much how Alaska rolls), but we ventured in. The whole place is about the size of my living room and it was packed out. A friendly guy eating at the microscopic sushi bar beckoned us to take the last two seats in the place. Our new friend is a 30 year Anchorage resident and a long-time Yamaya regular, and he was our delightful dinner companion for the evening.

Yamaya is run by an older Japanese couple and their granddaughter. Grampa-san is the only cook, and he makes each diner their food one item at a time (be prepared for a leisurely affair). The kitchen is open to say the least, so you can see the whole show. Gramma-san is one no-foolery-tolerated memaw, and she will take your order and tell you what is what in no uncertain terms.

The menu was chock full of things we’d never heard of before, so we followed our new friend’s recommendations and had some absolutely wonderful sushi and rice dishes, and Grampa-san was also gracious enough to stir fry me up something I was craving but which was not on the menu. All in all, dinner with our new friend at Yamaya’s was the perfect ending to our perfect first day in Alaska,

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank prov31girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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