The Dimond district is changing slowly. First came the large Farmer Joe’s, then a Peet’s coffee, then La Farine, and now Nama, where an old diner used to be. It really shows a change in the neighborhood once a sushi place opens. There even is an Indian place opening up a few doors down as well.

Nama represents a change in the neighborhood. It just goes to show the wide spread acceptance of sushi as a cuisine in Oakland when it ventures outside of the Rockridge and Grand Lake areas.

The interior is nicely laid out with an open space feel. There was a buzz in the air as people stopped by to read the menu outside and a steady stream of people came inside. The menu looks like a typical sushi/Japanese restaurant, with a variety of rolls and a compliment of hot entrees such as donburi, udon, and soba, though the BBQ ribs on the menu tips off that the place is Korean run (you can order hwedupbap here, sometimes referred to as sashimi salad, but known here as spicy chirashi) The prices also seem on par with other places like Miyozen and Drunken Fish.


I didn’t get to eat in, but I did get takeout. I ordered the Chicken Nan Ban, which is a deep fried chicken with a tonkatsu-like taste. It wasn’t overly breaded and the plethora of vegetables was nice. It wasn’t overly sweet either. Nothing stellar, but nothing bad either.


The spicy chirashi (hwedupbap) was a little pricey at $19 but it came with plenty of sashimi, and all the fixings. It was nicely seasoned but Miyozen offers a better version of this Korean dish. The caterpillar roll was typical of all caterpillar rolls though it wasn’t over sauced, which was nice. I didn’t try any of the sushi besides the caterpillar roll.

Though nothing jumped out at me, the quality of the food was on par with your average neighborhood sushi joint. I will have to go back and have the full dining experience at the bar but I don’t have high hopes for the sushi, since I am very picky about my sushi. The hot dishes however seem to have potential for me coming back for more, especially for take out (since it is on my way home from work). Nama is a great addition to the area and they have my best wishes for its success.