Atari Ya – Top Spot for Japanese Food in Wine Country


atari ya restaurant counterI have had the pleasure of visiting Japan twice in my lifetime, but long before I ever went, I had the sense that this Japanese Restaurant captured the essence of Japanese culture and flavors. And I was right!

Now in their 34th year on the Central Coast, Atari Ya Restaurant is hailed by many locals, as one of the most unique and authentic Japanese dining experiences. From the moment you enter, the scents wafting from the sushi bar and kitchen combine to create an instant ambiance and tone. Owner Keiko-San greets you with her wonderful, warm welcome and presence.

Spicy tuna salad

We begin our meal with a delicious, warm Ozeki Sake, and the most delicious Tsukemono. This one is cabbage based, prepared and cured, with what I would describe as dashi soup stock and lemon zest shavings, creating the perfect palate preparation. We then proceed with the arduous task of deciding what to enjoy today. Atari Ya offers a variety of authentic, traditional Japanese meals,as well as Asian Fusion culinary delights, with a full, fresh sushi bar, expertly prepared, designed and arranged by seasoned Sushi masters!


Tuna Mari Salad

Today, we decide on the Atari Ya Tuna Mari, after watching it prepared and delivered to another patron. Made with deep fried calamari, avocado and tuna sashimi, on a bed of greens and a savory sweet soy dressing, it tasted as good as it looked! We also shared a Spicy Sashimi Salad, which was equally mouthwatering and prepared to perfection.

I have personally enjoyed Atari Ya Restaurant since its beginning in 1984, where children also began their love of authentic Japanese cuisine. This place holds many wonderful memories for me. We even chose to have my family wedding reception dinner here, in their Tatami Room!

Pam and Atari Ya owner Keiko

Pam and Atari Ya owner Keiko

Looking for an authentic Japanese dining experience? Treat yourself to Atari Ya Japanese Restaurant, in the heart of Santa Maria, California.

By Pam Adkisson