Tag Archives: portrero hill

Umi has some Ultra Yummy Options

12 Jan

One visit to True Sake in Hayes Valley and I left with a bottle of sake that drank like a Riesling and a restaurant name scribbled on a receipt. The restaurant was Umi and it was the recommendation of the worker who just moved from Japan. I felt as if I had a secret password that I just really wanted to try out, so the next day I headed to Portrero for a meal that has yet to been forgotten. I love Japanese food but it always seems like there is a bit of a sacrifice that I have to make. I either go to a place with awesome sashimi (Shimo in the Outer Richmond), an izakaya for small plates (Izakaya Sozai in the Inner Sunset), and then yet another place  for a perfect bowl of katsu don. At Umi it is a one stop shop; you can get all of these things and more with each item cooked or uncooked beautifully. The Broccoli Rabe ($4.50), which is blanched and then topped with Goma dressing is my favorite way to start off my meal at Umi.

Along with their regular menu you will receive another menu with their daily specials on it, including what fish has just been caught and is the freshest. I always order a large sampler (variety, folks) of the Sashimi Specials ($13.00-20.00) and am never disappointed. Amberjack, mackerel, and yellowtail, oh my! Even if it is unlisted on the special sashimi menu, I order Hotate Nigiri ($4.50) because a raw scallop is one of life’s greatest foods. I was once asked on a date what is something that really makes me sad and my answer was, “Cooked scallops and salmon. Why do people do that, don’t they know how good it is raw?” I got a look of bewilderment in response and I thought to myself about my favorite twitter hashtag #1stworldproblem.

Everyone is at a difference stage in their sushi development, so whether you are stuck on California Rolls or can’t eat shellfish, Umi has options. My former business partner had an unfortunate seafood allergy so she always stuck to porky goodness on our Japanese meal outings. She got me hooked on Katsu Donburi and, trust me, the version served up at Umi is perfection. A hot rice bowl with pork, onion, and egg on top is perfect on a cold day when you don’t feel like cold light sushi.

I am now passing the word onto you, Umi is the spot for all of your Japanese food needs. There is no sushi bar to sit at but there is either a patio area or indoor seating, talk about options.


1328 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94107

(415) 355-1328