A relative newcomer to the Tahoe food scene, Yama Noodles has been open since July 2013. In spite of their short tenure as a business, they've already generated a loyal group of locals that rely on their hearty noodle soups and Asia-centric dishes. Located at 3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Yama sits across from Bank of America in the corner of the old mall. Innocuous and subtle, Yama's exterior immediately gives way to a vibrant experience that is both hip and satisfying.
Founded through the collaboration of Cezar Soresca and his business partner Keith Endlich, Yama Noodles draws inspiration from the street food of Southeast Asia. Compiling staple dishes from Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Korea, Yama strikes the balance between offering variety while simultaneously keeping true to the accents of each dish--never sacrificing quality for quantity of choice. One of the reasons I love Yama Noodles is that they fill a very distinctive niche in South Lake; there are many places to get burgers or pizza in Tahoe, but if you're craving Pho, your answer is simple. Aside from the food, the interior of Yama is decked out with eclectic artwork ranging from modernist paintings to vintage Japanese movie posters--most of which are the creations of Chef Soresca. The balance between the delicious cuisine, the stimulating artwork, and the always on-call reggae soundtrack not only equate to a fusion of culinary styles, but a fusion of culture found nowhere else in the Tahoe Basin.
Simple and deliberate, the menu dabbles in almost the entirety of East Asia--it can be viewed at yamanoodles.com. If we're talking specifics, I like to start with a Thai coffee or Boba milk-tea, followed immediately by an app of Chicken Poppers. If its lunchtime, I'm ordering The Fave--a Vietnamese sandwich topped with pork, cilantro, carrots and everything else; ask my friend Kjelli (Chelly)--a perennial server at Yama--for the Sriracha! At dinner, I can't help but order the Sierra Pho; beef noodle soup accompanied by basil, sprouts, cilantro, onion, and jalapenos--chili sauce on the side. All of these choices are awesome, but you won't be disappointed by anything on Yama's menu because at the end of your meal, you'll feel good about the food you ate and the people you supported while eating it. Highly Recommended!