Of course you should get the omakase ($60, $80, $100).
It goes without saying that Yama's sushi chefs would know better than you what was fresh or at the peak of the season. (Oregon king salmon flights? Yes!)
Sometimes, though, whether you're not feeling particularly well-heeled or just in the mood for a little comforting familiarity, something from Yama's extensive menu of special rolls fits the bill perfectly. It's part dinner and part amusement park—hell, the Cajun-sauced flaming jack ($14.95) is actually lit on fire. These concoctions are visually striking, well-conceived, with component flavors that complement rather than compete.
Tall food may have been played out by the mid-aughts, but that shouldn't stop you from partaking in Yama's lofty ahi tuna tower ($14.95). The tuna comes two ways, spicy and unadorned, the tender, tartare-like chunks forming layers sandwiched between, well, pretty much everything: sushi rice, crab salad, avocado, salsa, two types of mayo and three varieties of tobiko.Excessive, certainly, and by no means traditional, but strangely, it works, the diner able to configure each bite by deconstructing here, piling up there. Just one of these things paired with a thoughtful selection of nigiri should scratch that raw-fish itch for days to come, so feel free to play a little.
Pro tip: Don't let the photo of the ahi tuna tower in the menu fool you; it's huge and feeds multitudes.
GO: 926 NW 10th Ave., 841-5463, yamasushiandsakebar.com. 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 5-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11:30 am-11 pm Friday, noon-11 pm Saturday, noon-9:30 pm Sunday. $$-$$$$.