Hand-drawn signs, food worthy of the Gram, and solid lunch specials.
Yoshimatsu Japanese Eatery is turned 16 in February and it’s still cute as a button.
When they use Comic Sans, it’s actually endearing. Even the toilets are cute, with hand-painted floral patterns and cats. A toilet photo isn’t a good idea in a food article, so you’ll just have to go see for yourself.
Their hand-drawn and hand-written signs throughout the restaurant are also totes adorbs.
The kids’ menu is as cute as can be with its offerings and hand-drawn layout. The kids’ bento ($7) makes a happy meal look miserable. Teriyaki chicken, edamame, panda onigiri (rice ball with seaweed made to look like a panda head), and fruits make a mad cute and Instagrammable meal.
Mimosas ($6) and mini-beers ($2.50, also cute) are available during lunch, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (beer is $0.50 more) and for happy hour, from 2 – 6 p.m.
All cuteness aside, Yoshimatsu has evolved to offer a variety of fun Japanese dishes that are tough to find in Tucson.
Kushiyaki, or skewers, range from $3 to $6 per skewer. Try them with a cold Japanese beer or sake.
While Yoshimatsu offers a variety of traditional ramen, it also has mazemen ($9.75), a brothless ramen with ground pork, green onion, bamboo shoots, sesame seeds, nuts, and ajitama (soft boiled egg) to be mixed just before eating.
Another addition is Seafood Steamed Custard or chawanmushi ($5) — a savory custard with onions and assorted seafood such as scallop, squid, and shrimp.
If you like sushi but can’t use chopsticks to save your life, the sushi burrito is for you. Your choice of fillings are engulfed in sushi rice and wrapped with seaweed. The accompanying tempura lotus root and spicy mayo provide a crispy contrast to the burrito.
For the fish sushi burrito ($9.95 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.), choose two fish out of the following: tuna, salmon, yellowtail, shrimp, scallop, octopus, squid, and albacore. Additional fillings you can choose include cucumber, avocado, yamagobo (pickled burdock root), masago, crab stick, egg omelet, lettuce, and spicy mayo.
In the veggie sushi burrito ($8.95 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.), choose from cucumber, avocado, yamagobo, lettuce, beets, daikon, sprouts, mango, kale, fresh mozzarella, tofu, egg omelet, and spicy mayo.
On the sweeter side of things, Yoshimatsu offers a range of desserts, from Mochi Ice Cream ($5) in a variety of favors to a selection of cakes ($6 – $8).
Yoshimatsu is located at 2741 N. Campbell Ave. and can be reached at (520) 320-1574. For more information, visit yoshimatsuaz.com.