The New Nama - Two Thumbs Up

Sunday, 27 February 2011

I was introduced to Nama Sushi by my good friend Adrian. I moved back to Knoxville approximately a year ago and had the pleasure of staying downtown with the Jay family on Gay Street. We would walk the 3 blocks to Nama Sushi and pick up amazing to-go orders. So far, it is the best sushi I've tasted. The chefs are inventive, the fish is fresh and the rice has the perfect consistency.

The only drawback of the old Nama was the venue size. There were 5 booths and if you had a party of more than 5 people, you were out of luck. That has all changed with a brand new space! Nama moved up Gay Street directly next door to Regal Cinemas and staged a grand opening this week.

Hillary and I went and were seated at the sushi bar. Owner, Bert sent over an order of the cerviche appetizer (highly recommended) and we each tried the Spicy Tuna Roll and I had the Phily as well.

My first impression: friendly hostesses, great bar tenders and FAST sushi chefs. The place was absolutely slammed as you would imagine for an opening week. We waited for 30 minutes to be seated and even though the bar area was so packed you couldn't move, a bar tender quickly made eye contact with me, smiled and took my order.

Our server was very busy but quick to bring water, keep it refilled and check on us every time he walked by. (Can you tell I'm a stickler for good service? Aside -- the reason I concentrate on good service while dining out is because I can cook. I'm able to create a nice meal and I enjoy cooking. If I'm going to spend the extra money, I prefer a waiter or waitress who takes care of me, makes me feel special and turns the evening into an experience.)

The food at the new Nama, as expected, was wonderful. I'm also pleased with the rolls I ordered and they were presented with flair.

Ambiance was spot-on. I love the high ceilings, the soft but modern green paint, the shiny, translucent subway tiles behind the sushi bar and the chic lighting. Also, Hillary and I both commented on how comfortable and luxurious the chairs are at the sushi bar. We felt quite happy with our experience.

P.S. - I didn't order a cocktail but check out the menu (Green Tea Ginger Gimlet)! We plan to go back just for an adult beverage.


Dan Andrews said...

your a should not have to wait 30 minutes...ever!

LizP said...

I will have a saigon cosmo please :-)

Tina L. Hook said...

I love a good sushi joint. I will be traveling more in TN next year so Knoxville could be on the list.