Friday, April 03, 2009

NAMA - The Knoxville Favorite

Alright folks. It's not that complicated. If sushi's your bag and Knoxville's your town, then Nama's your choice. Done. 

It's the downtown stalwart that's been beckoning Knoxvillians to think outside the stripmall for over five years. Heck, in the grand scheme of things Nama is probably due some credit for downtown Knoxville's recent commercial boom. It certainly has been THE hub for life on the 100 block of Gay Street for as long as this writer can remember, and the fact is, that if you're reading this blog then chances are that you've probably already been to the downtown Nama, and I really don't need to convince you otherwise.


For me, there really isn't any more typical a "Knoxville night" than starting off with dinner at Nama. The sushi is, hands down, the best in town, the ambiance is perfect whether day or night and the location is in the heart of downtown - I know there is some bias here in that I live on the 100 block, but I stand by my word, it's the perfect mix of quiet city street meets recent urban chic. 


While I'm not going to woo you with all the diverse offerings of Nama, I will tell you that my default roll - the Tempura Roll is, in a word, incredible. It's much more than a full meal, and will readily satisfy those friends of yours that have a 'problem' with sushi - it's fried for goodness sake, what else do you want!? Nama also has excellent Maki rolls - that are half price on Monday, as well as some very good Sashimi. 


I cannot stress enough Nama's role as a forebear to so much that downtown Knoxville has become - so much that this blog has covered. It's THE downtown sushi place, and even in spite of the construction site Gay Street has become, I'm sure that it will continue to flourish. 

9 comments:

em said...

This is a sweet post, Robert. Now I need to get me some sushi after this week of reading.

Anonymous said...

eh I suppose, but I have to wonder what being owned by Puelos will do for it's future? Maybe it will be a good thing!

What's the next feature going to be?

benjamin said...

is it weird that i dislike nama? the sushi is really good, but i've never enjoyed a meal there. i like taking off my shoes and wearing homeless person clothes to midnite sushi at tomo better.

The Modern Gal said...

You know, Robert, you should really write more often.

Maui Wowie roll, all the way.

Discordia said...

Aww. I was holding out for some Kalamata Cafe love. Maybe next time.

Anonymous said...

Nama is wonderful, I think. I say that because I've only been able to try about 1/3 of their most enticing sounding dishes. I can't bring myself to say or even hear things like "Maui Wowie" or "Soy Joy" said aloud. This would be bar none my favorite restaurant in town if only they'd de-whimsify their menu.

B said...

this gave me chills. good review, roberto. we need to treat our friend, little micah, to some nama sometime. he's never had it. what kind of friends are we?

Anonymous said...

I do not think anyone is weird for not liking Nama. I hate Nama. I have been 4 times: each time the service was crappy AND snotty (this is really rather difficult to pull off, but the staff at Nama excel). Each time the place smelled strongly of fish. Each time I got sushi that was OK, but only OK. I do think there is better sushi in this town: I like a handful of places better, but I really do think the sushi at Kanpai of Tokyo in Downtown West is the best. I know it is in a strip mall, and in a chain "hibachi restaurant" to boot, but it tastes good and is well-prepared. I also notice I am one of the few non-Japanese (let alone, asian) folks in there.

Just because it's supposed to be cool to like Nama doesn't make it so...

Robert said...

Excellent thoughts everyone. I love the enthusiasm. and i think too that after only 5 reviews, there definitely are a few more that should make the cut next go round.

AND Anon nailed it on the litmus test - like many of the best eateries, location is not the most important factor in determining if a place is good or not. Chandler's on Magnolia anyone? The Taco Truck on Sutherland?