After having two amazing Japanese meals while on our visit to Manhattan (Taka on Grove st and Chiyono on 328 E 6th St) based on a friend's recommendation, we had to find a place on our own for our last meal. After reading my Zagat to go reviewed places, we decided to go to Yama on Houston in Soho, and boy was that a big mistake.
Sushi pieces there although were huge in portions, but were cut in really odd shapes and presented in a very sloppy manner. We asked them specifically what fish was very fresh, and of the 3 they suggested, only the sweet shrimp was decent quality. The rest was just boring (kinda like the stuff we have at all you can eat sushi buffets that are so popular in Toronto, Canada).
Their stir fried noodles which we ordered mostly for our son was also terrible. The way they cut the veggies reminded my wife of the way chinese take out/food court places to it.
To top it off, we heard the waiters talk to the sushi chefs... in Mandarin (Chinese). Our best guess it that the owners/chefs probably aren't even Japanese at all, but are Chinese serving "Japanese" food. Thus, it would explain why the food preparation & presentation was so poorly done.
Overall, and complete dissapointment and overpriced as well. Based on the readings on Chowhound from the other Yama locations, they might be better, but defintely steer clear of the Soho location unless you want to have Chinese style Japanese food at a steep price.