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Paradise Pier Hotel - Yamabuki
 
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Description:
The award-winning restaurant serves traditional Japanese cuisine for lunch and dinner. Yamabuki also offers a sushi bar, and kid's menu.
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Average Reviewer Rating: 3.8 out of 53.8 out of 53.8 out of 53.8 out of 53.8 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 7 ( Displaying Reviews: 1 - 7 )
5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   June 29, 2006
Reviewer: twist1980 Seattle, WA     July 28, 2006
We had a fabulous experience at Yamabuki. We decided to do a lunchtime priority seating reservation as the food was the same, but the prices were much less expensive. The restaurant was almost empty, I think only two to three other tables were occupied the entire time we were there. We are avid sushi eaters and have found ourselves to be quite picky. I chose the crispy rolls after I read a recommendation here on Mouseplanet and I was not disappointed. They were amazing! They also came with Miso soup, which was typical Miso, not bad, but nothing special. My fiancé had teriyaki steak and soft shell crab and his son ordered California rolls. The teriyaki steak was very good, not at all the typical teriyaki you order, but an actual steak strip with teriyaki sauce. We all tasted it and loved it. The California rolls were pretty typical. Again, they were good, but nothing special. We werent fans of the soft-shell crab, but none of us had ever had it before so we have nothing to compare it to.

Our server was fantastic and extremely attentive. She checked in on us often and I was very impressed that she asked our son if he would like a bowl of rice while he was waiting for us to finish. Even more impressive was the fact that we werent charged. They serve orange slices with the bill in lieu of mints.

We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. It will be a must-do for our future trips. Even for the non-sushi eaters, the teriyaki is worth the visit alone!
 
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   May 7, 2006
Reviewer: cstephens Southern California     May 07, 2006
We originally had a dinner reservation for 8, but they were very willing to accommodate the change in our reservation to 9. Our reservation was at 5:30, which is when the restaurant opens for dinner. We ended up getting there a little early, before the doors were open, so we sat in the lobby of the Paradise Pier Hotel to wait. We went back at 5:30, at which time the doors were unlocked. We went in and told them about our reservation. We waited a couple of minutes as they put our tables together and then we were seated in the main dining room.

Our server then came over and took our drink orders, and the service was terrific all night. They were happy to oblige when we requested two separate checks for our party.

My husband and I had been to the restaurant two times previously, once sitting at the sushi bar and once sitting in the auxiliary dining room, both times for dinner. I found the sushi to be good, but since we have a favorite sushi restaurant, this wasn't a place we'd come back to just for sushi. We thought the sushi prices were a little high, but the annual passholder discount helped a lot.

This time, quite a number of us ordered the beef teriyaki complete dinner. A few others ordered the assorted sushi complete dinners. The complete dinners come with a number of "sides": miso soup, dinner salad (with ginger dressing), shrimp and vegetable tempura, 3 pieces of California roll and white rice. The miso soup had very good flavor and included bits of tofu and and green onions but no seaweed as some other places might have (which disappointed me since I love seaweed but which my husband was happy about since he hates seaweed). The dinner salad was pretty ordinary - the dressing was fairly mild. The tempura (2 pieces of shrimp, 3 pieces of vegetable) was quite good, very crispy, and the vegetables included sweet potato, eggplant and green bean. The California roll was very ordinary, but then I'm not a particular fan of California roll. The beef teriyaki was quite tasty. When you order, they ask how you want the meat cooked, and my order of medium came out so that the inside was still nice and pink. I'm not a fan of too much or too sweet teriyaki sauce, so I liked that the flavor of the teriyaki sauce was not overpowering, and there wasn't too much on the beef. I particularly enjoyed the numerous small sides as it meant you had the opportunity to taste a variety of things.

A few of us ordered appetizers, and everyone seemed to enjoy them. I had a piece of tuna sashimi, and it was very good quality. My husband said all of the sashimi he had in his appetizer (7 pieces total, consisting of tuna, salmon and yellowtail) was quite good. I ordered the oshinko (marinated vegetables) appetizer, and while $6.50 initially seemed a little expensive, I changed my mind after it arrived. It had a very good variety of vegetables (including carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, cucumber and daikon), and it was a very good sized serving as well. I also had one order of sushi, a clam which I haven't been able to find elsewhere and can't remember the name of, and it was very tasty and very crunchy. The sushi/sashimi dishes came with only very small amounts of ginger, but when we asked the server for more, more was soon brought to us.

For dessert, I had the plum wine ice cream, which was very good, even though it was more plum ice cream as opposed to plum wine ice cream. I had wanted the ginger ice cream but was told they were out and that they seldom actually get any in, so I'm not sure why they don't just take it off the menu. Others in our group had the mochi (they have two flavors available - mango and green tea, and you can either choose one flavor or a mixture of both), and they said it was quite good. I love mochi myself but had decided on the ice cream instead.

I was happy to see that menu items included shabu shabu and udon, so we're planning on returning at some point to try those. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that while the kid's menu included "safe" items like chicken nuggets, it also included selections like chicken teriyaki, beef teriyaki, tempura, soba and udon.

As good as the food was, the service was excellent as well. Each of our "sides" was brought to us separately, so while there was the issue of having enough space to have that many plates/bowls in front of you, it also meant our server had to return to our table numerous times in bringing out each dish. She was gracious and polite and friendly each time, and as we finished dishes, the empty plates/bowls were quickly taken away. Our drink glasses were also constantly being refilled, and any specific requests we had were timely accommodated. The wait staff was attentive but never intrusive and never interrupted our conversations.

The prices are not inexpensive, but you definitely get value for the price you pay. The restaurant is nicely decorated and fairly quiet. As we were leaving, the staff and the hostess and manager thanked us for coming and hoped to see us again.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this restaurant for anyone who likes Japanese food and those who might be interested in trying something they've never had before.
 
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   April 17th, 2006
Reviewer: DisneySeaFan     April 17, 2006
As a Japanese American, I am extremely proud to tell you about this restaurant. It is perhaps the most authentic Japanese restaurant I have ever seen in the U.S. no joke. The waiting area has stylish low tables and a bar, just like a modern Tokyo restaurant. The staff is almost entirely Japanese and lots of Japanese guests eat there. There was a Japanese couple talking to the hilarious bar tender about how they came here and were happy to see them serve Sapporo Beer since they work for the company and there is less and less of it served. We were seated pretty promptly. We were attended to very quickly and kindly and our food was served very fast. The food was not only authentic but outstanding. The Sashimi served before the complete dinners was honestly some of the best I've ever had, and I've had a lot. Perfect texture. I had the nigiri dinner and everything was very good. It was served about 3 minutes after everyone else, no big deal. I tried the Udon and Tempura as well and they were excellent. This is easily one of the best restaurants at the resort. It rivals the Blue Bayou as my favorite. It is the best Japanese food I've had in the U.S. for sure. It is as close to Japan as you can get so try it!
 
7 out of 8 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   May 12, 2005
Reviewer: yensid75 Pico Rivera     May 12, 2005
I love this Place. The best time to come is during the lunch time. From 11:30 until 1:30 the menu price is 1/2 of the dinner prices. I especialy loved the Tempura Udon and the Lunch Box special. The service is excellent and the timlyness of the meals is quick. I have been coming to Yamabuki's for over a year and never had bad experience.
 
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   October 8, 2004 & October 9, 2004
Reviewer: kyrie74 Honolulu, Hawai`i     October 12, 2004
Being from Hawai`i, my family and I were totally craving rice and noodles by the end of our trip...and the concierge at our hotel told us that Yamabuki was great. So, they made the arrangements for us, and we got in very quickly. The service was great, although the food (especially sashimi & special order sushi) took a little longer. The food was absolutely delicious! We had the udon tsuki for 3 people...and we were unable to finish it all! There was plenty of shrimp, clams, scallops, veggies, and noodles. The soup was very tasty. Also recommended by the concierge staff-- you MUST try the CRUNCHY ROLL!!!! It is soooo yummy! Trust me. I'm an avid sushi eater...and this crunchy roll was awesome! It's a shrimp tempura, and crab reverse roll and is covered with unagi or teri sauce. YUM! Loved it. We're gonna try and make it at home. Thanks to the concierge staff at Paradise Pier for giving us the heads up!!
 
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful
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1.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.0   May 20th 2004
Reviewer: MeganPierce Nebraska     May 25, 2004
We had PS for 8pm. We arrived at 7:50pm. We were made to wait for 45 minutes. People who did not have PS were sat before us. The staff was slow and the food not very good and extremely over priced for what you get.
 
3 out of 6 people found this review helpful
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2.0/5.02.0/5.02.0/5.02.0/5.02.0/5.0   November 15, 2003
Reviewer: karene Sacramento, CA     November 18, 2003
Upon arrival at our table, our waiter was very cold and never smiled. I was not given any information on the wines available, even after asking. Once our order was placed we noticed another server's table received wet clothes to use but we did not. Mine and my daughter's food arrived but our waiter told us my husband's sushi was still being made. We waited and began eating but before we were done we still had not received his meal and had to ask again. When it finally arrived the rest of my food was cold and my daughter was ready to leave. We were never asked how our meal was and had to track down the waiter whenever we needed anything. He couldn't even remember the fork. The food was average so coupled with the poor service we would never go back. There are too many other top-notch restaurants for us to enjoy.
 
15 out of 19 people found this review helpful
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