Sushi. A delicacy that I am just barely starting to dabble in because I never thought of myself as a seafood lover, let alone raw fish. I decided to branch out and seek out some sushi and looked at Lebanon and Hanover, towns that are ripe with culture because of their proximity to Dartmouth College and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. After trying Yama and Sushi-Ya, my favorite sushi restaurant in the Upper Valley has to be Sushi-Ya in Hanover. They have an incredibly wide variety of foods to choose from, especially for those that absolutely cannot stand seafood. Ramen, tempura, and certain types of maki are all ready and willing to be consumed by those with a less adventurous palette. My personal favorites are the Dynamite Maki, the Lebanon Roll, and the Celtics Maki. I particularly enjoy the restaurant’s use of local landmarks, towns, and sports team for the names of their dishes.
Other delicious sushi in the Upper Valley is being served at Yama in Lebanon. They have a very hole in the wall feel, definitely authentic and offer a lot of the same rolls as Sushi-Ya. Parking is much easier at Yama because it’s off street parking, whereas Sushi-Ya is either on-street and having to pay for parking meters, or there’s a municipal lot less than a quarter mile away.
Both of these restaurants are frequent favorites and deciding between the two really depends on the time of day and evaluating the parking situation. Both restaurants also start the meal with a variety of “appetizers,” ranging from noodles to fried sweet potatoes to marinated vegetables. It’s hard to know what you’ll receive each time you go in, but I have thoroughly enjoyed everything they have brought out. As an aside, both restaurants’ beverage default is water, so unless you specify whether you want Sapporo, or rice wine, or a soft drink, they won’t ask.