Oyama Sushi offers fresh food, reasonable prices

Macrae Sharp

Upon entering Oyama Sushi, a recently opened sushi joint in the Bon Air Center, we were greeted by a small, hip venue with blue neon lighting, crisp decor and a family-friendly atmosphere.

Oyama Sushi has seating for couples or larger parties, but also has a large bar where you can sit, eat, socialize and watch the chef make your favorite rolls right in front of you.

The restaurant was fairly empty, which may or may not have contributed to the above-average service. Every waiter was friendly and had a wide breadth of knowledge of the available dishes.

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The jalapeno jumper roll featured a glowing, color-changing light.

The lengthy menu provided many choices, ranging from traditional Japanese dishes such as nigiri and standard rolls to what seemed to be more Asian-fusion style plates such as the “CA seafood salad” and the “jalapeno jumper roll.”

A platter of rolls at Oyama Sushi in Greenbrae.

For a starter, the seaweed salad is a great option. Although a little slimy on the tongue, the flavor and sharp bite to the salad will prepare you for the fish in your next few dishes.

The Hamachi (yellow tail) nigiri was fresh and tender, and had a pleasing fish-to-rice ratio, making it worth the small serving of two pieces for $5.95.

Tempura vegetables are a great vegetarian option at Oyama.
Tempura vegetables are a great vegetarian option at Oyama.

The traditional cucumber roll and hamachi roll, staple dishes in a typical Japanese meal, were tasty—the cucumber was fresh and crunchy and the hamachi was soft and flavorful.

The under the sea roll” was a fantastic dish, not only in flavor but in presentation. The roll itself is made of spicy tuna and cucumber pieces, topped with generously-sized cuts of salmon and hamachi (yellowtail tuna) and bright orange tobiko. At $13.95, the eight-piece roll is slightly pricey, but compared to those served at classic sushi restaurants, the rolls are large.

The crown jewel of the meal, however, was the spicy tuna roll, priced reasonably at $6.95 for eight pieces of sushi. The fish was simply delectable. It was seasoned with a spicy sauce that didn’t overwhelm but complemented the fresh, natural flavor of the fish. Its delicious taste and texture made it reminiscent of a fresh ahi tartare.

The under the sea roll at Oyama includes a variety of types of fish.

To finish off the meal, the green-tea ice cream-filled mochi was a wonderful version of this Japanese dessert. The sweet rice on the outside was not as sticky as one often finds in this dish, making it more appealing, and the ice cream inside was sweet but not overpowering. The plate also featured chocolate sauce drizzles, a dollop of whipped cream and festive rainbow sprinkles.

The overall presentation of the meal was impressive as well. All of the sushi rolls were served on one large, white plate and decorated with drizzles of sauces in the shape of flowers and other artistic designs. The rolls were stacked in different ways to add to this decorative aesthetic. Also adorning the plate were pieces of bamboo, cut to look like trees, supported by scoops of wasabi.

The Bon Air location of Oyama Sushi is the third to open in the Bay Area, with the other two locations in Lafayette and Walnut Creek.