San Marcos CA— With a Grand Opening on November 1, 2018, Umami Japanese, 251 North City Dr. Suite 122 in San Marcos, is the newest restaurant to open in this development’s culinary corridor, which also includes Grit Coffee, Prep Kitchen, Newtopia Cyder and Urge Gastropub. Featuring sushi and Japanese cuisine, Umami Japanese is rooted in traditional Asian flavors that come alive with artfully stunning presentation that is a welcome surprise for a casual, neighborhood restaurant serving North City and the surrounding areas’ vast ranging demographic of families, college students and faculty.
Backing the family-owned restaurant is investor David Sasuga, CEO of San Marcos based Fresh Origins Microgreens, a purveyor respected by chefs nationwide for its selection of hundreds of microgreens and edible flowers his family has farmed since 1995. But the vision and creative direction for Umami Japanese comes from Sasuga’s brother-in-law, co-owner and chef Eric Lee. (Blue Ocean, Ototo). The day-to-day kitchen operations will include Chef Lee behind the sushi bar with Executive Chef James Han managing the kitchen. Han has made his stateside return after 10 years of experience in Guam and Saipan, most recently as Chef de Cuisine of VIP Services at Imperial Palace Resort in Saipan and Chef de Cuisine at the Hyatt Regency in Guam.
The vast menu of Japanese and Asian specialties includes appetizers like Chicken Karage and Spicy Tuna Canape, traditional salads including Ika Sansai and Salmon Skin Salad, as well as a full sushi menu, including unique rolls like the Ninja with spicy tuna, krab, cilantro, jalapenos, sesame seed and fire sauce and the Crunchy Vegetable Roll with spring mix, avocado, kanpyo, gobo, cucumber, fried asparagus and topped with crunchy flakes and sweet sauce. There are classic Japanese Bento Boxes featuring Grilled Calamari and Spicy Pork for the entrees, as well as a selection of ramens including the Shio Ramen made with chicken broth and the Tonkotsu Ramen with house-made pork broth. Umani features Japanese beers, along with a selection of rotating craft beers as well as a menu of cold sakes.
Pictured: Super Dragon Tempura Roll
Buzz of the team’s culinary talent includes a Golden Fork Award for best dish at August’s Taste of San Marcos. Attendees voted Chef Eric Lee’s dish their favorite bite of the evening amongst 20 participating neighborhood restaurants. The dish, called a Sushi Muffin, is one example of the playful creativity and elegant presentation that will be showcased throughout the menu. Sushi rice and crab were encased in salmon, spicy dressing and eel sauce, freshly grated wasabi and topped with a colorful Fresh Origins’ edible viola.
Umami Japanese is open Sunday-Wednesday 11:30AM-9PM and Thursday-Saturday 11:30AM-10PM. 251 North City Dr. Suite 122 San Marcos, CA 92078