Emmanuel Son, Staff Writer
Just a few minutes walk down from the Marcus Pavillion on Pacific Avenue is Kamakura. This Japanese restaurant is a small but lovely family-owned spot serving a number of different traditional and Americanized Japanese dishes. It serves as a convenient location for Saint Martin’s students to grab Japanese cuisine without having to travel far from campus. Some menu items include those that are common in a number of Asian restaurants such as Miso soup, Gyoza/Potstickers and Pad Thai options. Some other menu items include items common in other sushi restaurants such as the California Roll, Philadelphia Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, and a Vegetarian Roll. Overall, it has a decently priced menu for what is available.
I ordered the Lightning Special Roll, a special from the premium sushi roll menu. This roll consisted of a California roll topped with a seaweed salad. Also in the roll was salmon and yellowtail slices. Compared to most sushi restaurants, the roll was simple. Other sushi restaurants have typically included two more types of fish in one roll such as eel or red snapper. Most have also added tempura to the roll. Despite the Lightning Special Roll being more on the simple side, the food itself was delectable. The seaweed salad on top of a California Roll was a new combination that I had never tried before as it is quite common to get a salad on the side. However, it ended up being a good combination. A number of other rolls were California Roll based with their own combination of fish or toppings. And with most sushi dishes at restaurants, there was a side of wasabi, soy sauce and horseradish. The idea of making sushi rolls more simple is something the restaurant does a good job in. Having a smaller combination of foods yet at a decent portion makes sure that there are not too many flavors happening at once. Other rolls from the Premium Sushi Rolls menu include a Rainbow Roll, Sunshine Roll, and a Dragon Roll.
The restaurant also has a vegan-friendly menu. Some vegan menu items include an Avocado Roll, a Tofu Roll, Organic Shiitake, and a number of Inari options. Other vegan-friendly specials were the Olympia Vegan roll, the Google It Roll, and the Welcome to the Vegan World Roll.
While the menu was kept smaller and simpler compared to a number of other Japanese restaurants in the area, the food overall was satisfactory. After all, the restaurant has received an award for their vegan friendly choices. Also, a common detail on the menu was cream cheese in sushi rolls. While many might point out that most east Asian foods traditionally consist of dairy, the lack thereof shows the restaurant’s efforts to appeal to American customers and incorporate both sides of culture on the meal.
On Google, the restaurant stands at a 4.8/5 star review. Delivery options for Kamaukara also come in UberEats, Doordash and Grubhub. The restaurant is located at 4804 Pacific Ave, SE Lacey, WA 98503. Because of its simple menu, great taste and a close proximity to campus, I would add Kamakura to the list of restaurants to visit again, and recommend that the community continue to support small businesses and give this place a try.