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  • Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

    On Saturday October 21st we went to Yamabuki after it had been shut down for over 8 weeks. The outside area and sign are the same. No changes there!

    The entrance is quite different. The host/hostess desk is now located immediately to the left of the entrance way. The host/hostess desk is about 5 feet wide and we were asked to park our stroller in that area. When we left there were about seven strollers and you really had to move everything around just to get to it. So my first complaint is that the area is too small for stroller parking. There is also a rather large support beam to the right of the host/hostess desk that you can walk around but often times you will not see your host/hostess hiding behind it in order to take you to your table. The waiting area has not changed.

    To your immediate right is the bar and it looks the same. Beyond the bar is a larger room that is used to host larger groups. It doesn't look any different as well.

    Off to the left is the main dining area and sushi bar. This is where most of the structural changes appear to have been made. The large dining area has been reduced to two rooms. The first room has about 15 tables of varying sizes (2,4, and 6 people) crammed into it. The old wooden chairs with the icon Mickey carved into the backrest are GONE! I was very sad to see those wonderful pieces go away! I asked the manager if they still had them or if they were being sold but she said she didn't know. I really would have liked to purchase four!

    There is now a giant partition that separates the two rooms. The partition looks rather odd considering that it ends about 6 feet away from where the sushi bar seats are located. This really cuts down on traffic flow when servers and buspersons are shuttling between the two rooms. The teppanyaki style tables are on the opposite side of the partition.

    The sushi bar does not appear to have changed much. It is still the same size and the back area looks identical. Only the sushi bar chairs have changed to match the other furniture decor.

    The entire dining area seems alot darker due to the darker colors of paint and wood used in the new decor.

    Your hostess is no longer wearing a traditional kimono to which a hostess told us before the renovations that she was really, really, really happy about! She is Japanese and was complaining about the heat factor wearing the traditional dress. I tend to agree with here especially when you are schlepping food and drinks on an eight hour shift. The clothing seems more suitable for a Japanese tea ceremony!

    The food is still of course EXCELLENT. The prices have gone up maybe $5-$10 for the dinners. Lunches have gone up about $3 but you still are paying for excellent quality Japanese food made by Japanese sushi makers. The menu has been restyled and is divided into "courses." Course 1 is your hordevours, Course 2 are your side dishes, and Course 3 are your large dinners. They even have a kids menu divided into traditional Japanese "bento" style meals. Bento or "obento" is defined as a Japanese meal that is served in a partitioned lacquered box but Yamabuki lacquer is substituted for plastic. We didn't order anything from the kids menu because my did doesn't yet have teeth! My wife ordered the teriyaki chicken served over long Japanese mushrooms and asparagus. Not very Japanese but more what is called Cal-Asian here in California. The chicken breast was a good size portion and the teriyaki dressing was excellent. The teriyaki sauce was made from scratch and not out of a bottle. Her meal came with the standard miso soup and rice bowl. The miso was excellent and rice was hot, steamy, and sticky just the way Asian rice is supposed to be!

    My mom and I ordered directly from the sushi bar since she is 100% Japanese and I am 50% Japanese (plus she was paying!). We ordered ourr standard barage of sushi: ebi (cooked shrimp), ama-ebi (uncooked shirmp), tamago (egg), uni (sea urchin roe), anago (eel), toro (fatty raw tuna), maguro (eel), and various 'makis' or rice rolls. We ordered so much that we had to take some home with us for a late night snack. We also were served miso and a rice bowl with our sushi order. I didn't touch the rice bowl since we already had rice coming. Ooo! I also forgot to mention that we got the standard edamame before our sushi arrived. We topped off the dinner with the traditional green tea ice cream! Good stuff!

    The service was quick. Our order was placed and within 10 minutes the food started coming out. The sushi took about 15 minutes because when it comes to sushi a sushi chef takes great pride in preparation, presentation, and the order in which they sushi is served. Our server asked if my wife wanted her meal served with our sushi which was nice. Her meal arrived as our sushi started arriving and amazingly it was hot as if it had be just prepared. Good timing. Drinks were always full! Never once did our water glasses go empty or ocha (green tea) go cold. After each round of sushi the buspersons cleared away our tables rather quickly.

    The only things that I found were bad was that we kept getting stares and people were whispering around us. I guess that happens when you arrive with your mom dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow and pirate Elizabeth Swann (we had photos taken earlier in the day at a studio). But that is no reflection on Yamabuki. The other bad thing is that they STILL haven't installed baby changing stations in the men's or women's bathrooms. You figure with all the money they spent on renovations they could have added that! My poor wife had to travel all the way over to PCH grill just to change our rugrat. She was gone so long that I had to go on an adventure to find her. Turns out more people were in the women's bathroom changing their kids and a line had formed!

    Overall the experience was excellent. Total price with AP discount was under $75.00! Believe me with two Asians and one gaijin (foreignor) eating Japanese food that is a rather low bill! Apparently we also missed a dining pin by about 1 week which sucks! Oh yeah! They also had FREE valet parking which was nice because my mom is getting up there in age and we didn't want her to have to walk far too and from the car! Also waiting for our car was fun because I had four pictures taken with me and some people at a distance kept yelling "Johnny Depp come over here please!" Do not know who this Johnny Depp person is that they spoke of? Oh well!

    Hope you enjoyed the long review! I found a few pics on my wife's camera but I will have to upload them later! Enjoy your future Yamabuki dining because I know I will again!:wave:

  • #2
    Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

    Sounds very nice....

    I wonder how it compares to Akai Hana (my fave Japanese restraunt... it's were all the Japanese in Columbus go. And a couple Otaku. ).
    -Tim

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    • #3
      Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

      Thanks for the review! I never had a chance to go to Yamabuki's before but my DH loves it, so this is another reason to entice him to go to DL with me.

      Oh, and you are a brave, brave man to eat uni. That is definitely an acquired taste if you haven't grown up with it.
      She did it!

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      • #4
        Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

        Thanks for the report!

        Eagerly awaiting the pics!

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        • #5
          Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

          Originally posted by Spidergrrrl View Post
          Thanks for the review! I never had a chance to go to Yamabuki's before but my DH loves it, so this is another reason to entice him to go to DL with me.

          Oh, and you are a brave, brave man to eat uni. That is definitely an acquired taste if you haven't grown up with it.
          Believe me! Uni is an acquired taste! You definitely have to be part Asian to be able to eat that stuff! It took me several years to learn to tolerate the taste of uni! Very salty! I just try not to think about where it comes from considering my background is in marine biology! It doesn't help when you know the Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species of the food you are eating!!!

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          • #6
            Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

            Originally posted by WatchYourHeadNStep View Post
            It doesn't help when you know the Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species of the food you are eating!!!

            It's Disney property. Don't you mean Magic Kingdom?
            -Tim

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            • #7
              Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

              Great review, glad to hear it is still great. We'll definately have to go back now.
              Stalking is when two people go for a long romantic walk together but only one of them knows about it.

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              • #8
                Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

                Originally posted by WatchYourHeadNStep View Post
                Believe me! Uni is an acquired taste! You definitely have to be part Asian to be able to eat that stuff! It took me several years to learn to tolerate the taste of uni! Very salty! I just try not to think about where it comes from considering my background is in marine biology! It doesn't help when you know the Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species of the food you are eating!!!
                Hmm - I didn't mind the taste so much, it was the...squishy...texture I didn't much care for.

                :ot: Last time I derail your thread - promise - but that reminds me of an internet joke that was floating around for a while called "101 ways to tell you're asian" - and one was "last night's dinner is today's biology exam." LOL
                She did it!

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                • #9
                  Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

                  Originally posted by Spidergrrrl View Post
                  Hmm - I didn't mind the taste so much, it was the...squishy...texture I didn't much care for.

                  :ot: Last time I derail your thread - promise - but that reminds me of an internet joke that was floating around for a while called "101 ways to tell you're asian" - and one was "last night's dinner is today's biology exam." LOL
                  :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: inch:

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                  • #10
                    Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

                    I know many non-asians who love uni but I'm not there yet. For some reason, it seems to have a metallic, almost medicinal taste that I have not developed a taste for yet. It is just about the only thing at a sushi bar that I don't crave on a regular basis.
                    "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"
                    - Satchel Paige

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                    • #11
                      Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

                      Originally posted by Motorboat Cruiser View Post
                      I know many non-asians who love uni but I'm not there yet. For some reason, it seems to have a metallic, almost medicinal taste that I have not developed a taste for yet. It is just about the only thing at a sushi bar that I don't crave on a regular basis.
                      That is what happens when you eat sea urchin ovaries..........metallic taste!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

                        How did I miss this? Anyway, I guess that's a relief. Before this, you got appetizers that came with your entree and were each different, and decently sized. So now you get side dishes as well? That sounds nice. I was fearing that they would try to change the decor into some grand palace. They also added Tepanyaki tables which is a good idea as Americans seem to love this style of dining.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

                          Great report! I was waiting for someone to go and try it out! Now maybe I can talk my gf into trying it out (i hope you're reading this woman!)

                          how generous are their portions? esp the cut rolls? do they have a tataki sashimi?
                          Three-time MVP Larry Bird, noting that Bryant has been the NBA's premier player for years, told Sports Illustrated's Dan Patrick before this week's announcement, "When someone told me the other day that Kobe hadn't won an MVP trophy, it sort of made me feel like I wanted to throw mine away."

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                          • #14
                            Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

                            Not the greatest pics but the only ones I found of Yamabuki! Sorry!

                            Samurai Jack:



                            Ocha kudasai! (More tea please) Strategically placed tea cup because me soul patch fell off!



                            Three generations at Yamabuki!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Yamabuki Restaurant Review - LONG! (sorry on pics)

                              Originally posted by WatchYourHeadNStep View Post
                              That is what happens when you eat sea urchin ovaries..........metallic taste!
                              Well, that clears that up.
                              "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"
                              - Satchel Paige

                              Comment

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