Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Authentic Japanese Hospitality

Umi Sushi

Umi Sushi has settled into its own since my last recorded visit. Last week I enjoyed sushi with a couple friends there and the food was so delicious and artful, I knew it was time for an update. So off to San Rafael I went with my best camera yesterday evening. I was warmly greeted by Atsuko and Yoshi who own the restaurant. The authentic Japanese hospitality that awaits you there is your portal to another world. Being footloose and fancy free for the evening, I made it a slow gourmet evening of varied tastes.

Ika with Mentaiko

First up were variations on the theme of ika, or squid. This one had buttery tendrils of squid in a sushi nest topped with mentaiko, a kind of fish egg. It was an explosion of taste and texture over the tongue.

Translucent Squid with Shiso Leaves

The next ika was translucent over the squares of shiso leaf. I had this last week and fell in love.

side dishes

Next were some delightful accompaniments, compliments of the house. In the top dish were pickles, and the bottom, freshly steamed green beans in goma-e dressing (a sesame seed based dressing).

Hokee Hiraki

There is no description of Hokee Hiraki on the menu, but here it is and pictures are once again better than words one cannot find, even using Google. This is a delicate, yet buttery white fish that is a type that Japan's northern island of Hokkaido is well known for. Firm in texture, the flesh easily pulls away from the bones. Traditionally a little grated radish mixed with soy sauce is eaten over the fish, and this dish comes authentically prepared at Umi Sushi.

Young octopus sushi

Next up is an order of colorful young octopus sushi. These tendrils are tender!

Hawaii Roll

Are your eyes full yet? Take a look at this colorful roll. This Hawaii Roll teams up spicy yellowtail and mango on the inside with a topping of tuna, green tobiko and bits of macadamia nuts. Another taste sensation!

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Green Tea ice cream once was an unusual flavor found only in Japanese restaurants. These days it's nearly as common as vanilla, and found in all types of restaurants. Offering something traditional, yet unique Umi Sushi has a housemade ice cream with rich flavor depth and pretty presentation in its new Kurogoma (black sesame) ice cream.

Previously reviewed:
December 6, 2007

1 comment:

cookiecrumb said...

It looks beautiful. I must give this place a try.
But I cannot, cannot eat ika. I chew, and chew, and it just gets puffier and gluier in my mouth. :(
I'm sure there are other things I'd love to sample. :)