Sushi bars are great for eating alone. You are surrounded by people, so you don't feel like a complete loser. But eating sushi is a solitary experience. No one around can you hear your meal sizzle, or smell it before it's placed on the table. Only you can taste it, and the sensation and pleasure is uniquely yours. Thursday night before attending a comedy show on Bleecker Street, I tucked in to Yama on Carmine Street and treated myself to the sashimi dinner at the bar.
The Carmine Street location is one of three branches of this mini-chain, and by far my favorite because it has ample, warm space. The one in Union Square always requires an obnoxiously long wait (though they'll call your cell phone if you choose to wait at a nearby bar as my party did recently), and the one Houston Street is long, lacquered and uninviting. The sushi bar at that location is also scrunched up near the sub-street level entrance.
I've read criticisms of Yama that the pieces are too large, which is considered not authentic. I reject this criticism. Given my worship of tuna, and my status as the "sole funder of the meal," I more than welcomed the abnormally gargantuan hunks of yellow tail and salmon for my $18.50. I also orderd a glass of plum wine for $5.00. The yellow-tail, by the way, was like velvet that night. A total treat, near the end of an exhausting week.