Meet Kushi Yama Asian Tapas & Grill, which focuses on Asian Tapas, a new concept for fine dining in Amarillo Texas. They boast over 40 different types of tapas and had us at hello with some of the freshest and most interesting sushi I’ve had in awhile (outside Japan that is), which is astonishing given how far they are from the coast.
Kushi Yama has monthly Wine Dinners, which means that their wine menu is top notch! They even had two Kistler Chardonnay’s to choose from, which was a great choice for us given the diverse blend of dishes we were planning to sample over the course of an evening. Chef Richard specializes in “Asian Tapas” but their menu had so many options to choose from, you could never get bored with its tantalizing dish variations. Let’s just say that the selection blends the best of Asian food with a modern style, look and feel and are all beautifully presented, even their sushi rolls.
While tapas are their specialty, let’s start by talking about their fabulous sushi rolls. First, let’s remember that we were in the middle of Texas, not on some bustling coastal American town. Second, shouldn’t we have been sent to a local authentic steakhouse by a local? I thought so, but instead, we ended up at a Modern Asian Fusion restaurant on the outskirts of town, with immaculate and creative ambiance, including a massive life sized water tank in the middle of the restaurant.
The water tank was as impressive as the chef’s seafood rolls. Let your mouth water as you consider fresh maki rolls with crab, avocado and spicy tuna, crispy soft shell crab, Dragon, Tempura Texas, Salmon skin, Rainbow and Himachi scallion rolls, all in the same evening. Whoah Nelly! Bring ’em on and well….so he did! All of it was paired with that delicious bottle of Kistler, so we were in pure heaven, despite our exhausting 11 hour drive that day.
Appetizers certainly didn’t disappoint either. From tuna tartar, seafood ceviche (Scallop, Squid, Shrimp and Octopus. Cucumber, Tomato, Yuz Vinaigrette), Spicy Pork Won Tons (Garlic, Scallion, Soya & Chili Oil Broth), Thai Spicy Beef Salad (Iceberg Lettuce, Red Onion, Cucumber, Peanut, Tomato Chili, Garlic Lime Vinaigrette) and steamed Buns with sliced braised pork belly (Shredded Cabbage, Pickled Dai Cons), to Crab Rangoon (cream cheese, scallions, spicy sweet and sour sauce), Steamed Sticky Rice with Lotus Leaf (Glutinous Rice, Sausage, Mushroom Shallot) and Sushi Combination Platters (tuna, hamachi, salmon and squid), they had us covered.
Side dishes included vegetable fried rice, fried tofu with crispy garlic and seven spices, wok charred green beans with garlic and chili sauce, home fried potatoes with jalapeno, crispy garlic and seven spices and salt, wok fried broccoli with garlic, wok tossed bok choy with ginger, and wok tossed egg noodles. I was surprised how beautifully presented and how fresh all the dishes tasted. Bravo!!
And how about this for Yakotori skewers? Beef With Pepper, Malaysian Beef Satay, Enoki Mushroom with Bacon, Grilled Koyari Squid, Teriyaki Cobia, Pork Satay with Pineapple, Smoked Pork Belly and Lamb Chops. As I mentioned, the food menu was diverse and was also incredibly creative.
Of course, it didn’t stop there. I looked over at Anthony at one point and asked through my fatigue – we are in Amarillo Texas right? Seafood entrees included Wok Fried Sichuan Shrimp (Shitake Mushroom, Carrot, Choy Sum Spicy Garlic & Chili Sauce), Shrimp Honey Peach Sauce (Lightly Breaded Shrimp, Honey Peach Sauce), Grilled Salmon Filet Mango Bourbon BBQ Sauce (wok tossed with seasonal vegetables), Seared Halibut Fillet (sauteed cabbage with bacon and cobacha tempura), Broiled Saka-Marinated Sea Bass (shrimp dumplings, mushrooms, carrots and seaweed soy broth) and Charishi Deluxe (Sashimi Tuna, Hamachi, Salmon, Squid, Octopus, and EBI Shrimp).
The chef’s presentation continued to delight as the desserts came pouring out of the kitchen.
Inside, you’re greeted with a modern and chic design — clean lines, warm colors and the impressive water tank that takes up an entire wall. The result? A feeling of serenity and calmness amidst great decor and fabulous food. Two thumbs up and a must stopover if you are in Amarillo long enough for a dinner. It requires a drive from downtown Amarillo, but it’s only about ten minutes away and has ample parking on a main drag.
Kushi Yama Asian Tapas & Grill
3319 W Interstate 40
Amarillo, TX 79109
Note: we were hosted by the restaurant but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.