The freshest fish in the Eastern Sierra, outside the Owens River, can be found at Yamatani.
Bishop’s sushi bar can hold its own with any sushi place in any city. The stylish Japanese restaurant opened in 2012, but the Tani family has been preparing and serving sushi and other dishes using family recipes since 1980.
The menu makes your mouth water, so here’s a sampling. For starters, try the Yakitori, skewered chicken with house sauce, the breaded calamari with ponzu or the salted edamame.
The sushi menu has all the favorites including seasonal specialties. Like most sushi places, there are some items not on the menu but get to know the chefs, Robbie and crew, and they might let you in on a couple secret dishes.
Yamatani offers more than delicious sushi. Try the Chicken Katsu, panko breaded and deep fried chicken with sweet and sour or tonkatsu sauce. The Saba Shioyaki is a ½ broiled mackerel with salt and pepper and outstanding on its own.
There are the classic sukiyakis, teriyakis and tempuras, as well.
Alvin and brother Robbie Tani opened the Shogun Restaurant and sushi bar in November 1980 in Mammoth. It was the first and longest running sushi place in the ski resort town. Legend has it, the pair quit their jobs, grabbed their mother’s recipes and stole away to Mammoth.
If you love Star Wars, hit Yamatani on Halloween. The place turns into a galaxy far, far away with specialty sushi and those in costume get a prize.
Located in the center of town, across from Giggle Springs gas station and next door to the Bishop Town House Motel. Opens at 5 p.m. daily. Yamatani also hosts a full bar. Visit their website at yamatanibishop.com.
Mike Bodine has been reporting on the small town news and gossip of the Eastside for more than 15 years.