Thursday, May 30, 2013


Umami Ramen & Dumpling bar is hip. The music is current, the drinks are playful and delicious, with a whole range of "saketinis" as well as more traditional beverages with a twist, such as my favorite, the mango mojito, and the food is out of this world.

Umami is a relatively new word to the english lexicon, surfacing around 1985, but not hitting the mainstream until the 2000s. Umami, as a unique taste receptor (similar to sweet, sour, salty, and bitter) was "discovered" as early as 1908 by Professor Kikunae Ikeda of Japan. The word umami is a mash-up of the Japanese words umai (うまい)"delicious" and mi (ε‘³)"taste". (Thanks Wikipedia!)

Delicious taste completely describes the food at Umami. They do three things here, and they do them really really well. Buns, dumplings, and ramen each come in four varieties. Adam and I split an order of beef buns (2 per order) which had Korean bbq sauce and a spicy mayo that were incredible, and I very much wished we weren't splitting the order! Scott and Alison were much more savvy, each ordering an order of buns, one beef, one pork, and then trading each other a bun, so they each got one beef and one pork bun. We're doing that next time!

For ramen, we all got the same: the Tonkatsu Ramen, a rich pork broth with fresh ramen noodles topped with flavor infused egg, braised pork, marinated bamboo shoots, nori (seaweed) and green onions. The boys went straight up, while the girls opted for additional "add-ins." Alison got an extra flavor infused egg, and I got the extra egg AND pork belly. Livin' large!!

Tonkatsu Ramen, with an extra egg and pork belly
We passed on dessert for today, but I do highly recommend the green tea creme brulee and the mochi ice cream, with the small caveat that this is the only mochi ice cream I've ever had, so of course I think its delicious!!

Umami has a wonderful patio to sit on in the summer months, and nothing beats a bowl of ramen to warm you up from the inside out the other 9 months out of the year! It's an old house, which is fun and different, and tastefully decorated. Also, there's naked people in a bowl of ramen by the bar.

Scott, posing next to the naked ramen people.

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