This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Yama Izakaya, a Japanese tavern in the Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte on a rare dinner review. This small and trendy restaurant is tucked into a shopping center, so parking is not a problem.
They offer a variety of small plates, specialty dishes, and the main dish that called us, ramen. After our first experience with ramen in DC, we planned to share, so we started with a couple small plates. First up was the Gyoza, pan-fried pork dumplings. Soft on the outside, tender and full of favor on the inside, and served with a Japanese dipping sauce that would have been great on anything. Dora here. Light, delicate, delicious!
|Gyoza, pork dumplings. Light, delicate, delicious!|
We also tried the Fried Chicken Wings. They appeared to be like typical chicken wings until I took the first bite. The waiter told us they were seasoned with a Korean chili spice. Whatever it was, they definitely had a unique favor and were crispy and juicy. Dora here. I wish I was a fan of chicken wings because they always smell delicious! I gave these a try, but they didn't tempt me with a second bite.
|Fried Chicken Wings|
Now if you have never tasted ramen, you are missing out. Ramen is an Asian-style soup with noodles, and we chose the Miso Ramen. Marinated Braised Pork Belly (chashu), seaweed (nori), sesame seeds, scallions, bamboo shoots (menma), seasoned egg (sometimes called a Ramen egg), corn, and colorful fish cakes. The ramen was very good and the taste of the pork and seafood rose above everything else.
|Miso Ramen. Huge portions! Plan to share.|
Dora here. Don't let all the names scare you. It's just a soup with some deliciously flavorful elements. Tasty, warm, and a wonderful go-to comfort food in winter. This photo really doesn't do the serving size justice. It's a HUGE bowl! We ordered extra toppings in DC, but forgot to do that this time. If you plan to share, adding extra toppings might make it a bit beefier, er...porkier. :) Oh, and the restaurant rates this "spicy." Maybe a little kick but definitely not a forehead slicker. Go for it!
Our server might've scored higher if he didn't keep pushing the Sake and spoke a little slower for us hearing-challenged folks. And the music? Hoping that same constant beat changes before our next visit. :)
What about you? Have you tried ramen or pork dumplings? Do the pics look yummy? Would you give it a go after reading this review?
We rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.
Labels: Charlotte, Charlotte food blogger, Ernie Hiers, Excited about Eating, Plaza Midwood, Ramen, Yama Izakaya