Yamasan Sushi & Grill is the latest restaurant to open at Mills Park. It’s a small restaurant with a very large and ambitious menu. Besides a full offering of sushi, Yamasan has hibachi and stone grill cook-at-your-table options as well as one-pot cooking, such as shabu shabu and sukiyaki. There are seven soups and 26 each of hot or cold appetizers (not counting variations on individual items, such as the Tuna Tartare that may be ordered a la Nobu or Morimoto).
It can all be a bit overwhelming, so I recommend that you just keep it simple. The sushi selections that I sampled were quite nice, and in the case of the nigirizushi pieces, expertly prepared. I appreciated that the fish had been firmly married to the pad of vinaigered rice and that the pieces weren’t so large they couldn’t be eaten in one bite.
On another visit, the Spider Roll of soft shell crab was perhaps not assembled with the same precision but was tasty nonetheless.
From among the kitchen foods, I ordered the Yaki Udon Noodles with Beef, a plate of the thick noodles with sauteed bits of sliced steak, mushrooms, celery, scallions and onions. All quite good.
My companion had the Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura. The vegetables, including carrots, broccoli and onion rings, were beautifully done, the lacy tempura batter delicate and non-greasy. The shrimp were just a well coated but were unfortunately cool. I asked the server if that was intentional. She said it was not and soon returned with replacement shrimp that were hot and delicious.
Yamasan has a smallish dining area with a narrow row of high-backed white leather booths across from the sushi bar. I found it much more pleasant to sit out on the patio — at least the patio that overlooks the green space between Yamasan and its neighbor Brass Tap. There is another side patio that looks into the closed space that was Segafredo, but there it didn’t feel very welcoming.
I think Yamasan would do well to pare down the menu and concentrate on the items it does best. A restaurant with good sushi and authentic Asian dishes would be welcome in the Mills 50 district.
Yamasan Sushi & Grill is at 1606 N. Mills Ave., Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily, including late night hours on the weekend. The phone number is 407-228-1730.