Yama Sushi's dessert menu includes the usual sushi joint standards. Though the sticky rice with mango ($5.95) wasn't quite as sweet and flavorful as some versions of the dessert, the mango was tender.
More enjoyable was a large dome of fried ice cream ($5.50), hot and crispy on the outside and cold inside. Hand-coated and flash-fried in the kitchen, the ice cream arrived sundae-style, dressed with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
From laughing sushi chefs to smiling waitresses, the Yama Sushi staff seemed happy to be there. But thanks to the genial service and the neatly packaged, sometimes surprising food, the diners were the happiest of all.
Rating: *** 1/2
Back story: Open since 2010, Yama Sushi in Ellicott City serves neatly presented sushi and capably prepared hot dishes in a warm, friendly environment.
Parking: Lot in front
Signature dish: The Columbia roll — crab, shrimp tempura, and avocado, topped with chili sauce — is a fun-to-eat combination of sweet, spicy and crunchy.
Where: Dorsey's Search Village Center; 4725 Dorsey Hall Drive, Ellicott City
Contact: 410-997-3688, yamasushimd.com
Open: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday
Credit Cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express
Reservations: Accepted, but walk-ins are welcome
[Key: Superlative: *****; Excellent: ****; Very Good: ***; Good: **; Promising: *]