San Francisco: Umami

We spent the last ten minutes on our parking meter sitting in the car, trying to figure out where to go next.  Somehow the idea of going to Umami for happy hour came up.  A quick phone call to Umami confirmed that happy hour wouldn't start until 5:30 pm, so we still had some time to kill.

We did so by trying to find the Wave Organ, which is a wave-activated acoustic sculpture located in the Marina district.  The hard part wasn't finding the Wave Organ - T knew exactly where it was - but how to get there.  We could see it across the harbor, but it took us a while to actually find the footpath that led us to it.  While we didn't actually hear any wave-generated music, it was a fun excursion for a nice day.  (Though T would have much preferred to enjoy the view of the Bay from our parking spot.)

Then finally, finally, it was 5:30 and time to hit up Umami:


Happy hour, or sumo hour as it's called at Umami, is exactly that, an hour.  From 5:30 to 6:30 every day, you get $5 sushi rolls and other appetizers for cheap.

We got the Alaska roll, which came with salmon, avocado, and cucumber, and the spicy butterfish roll, which came with cucumber and kaiware (daikon sprouts):


The spicy butterfish was so ridiculously buttery and heavenly that we asked for another order.

CL's absolute favorite burger in the world is the original Umami slider:


Three sliders cost $8 during sumo hour.  The kobe burgers are dressed with spicy aioli, crispy shallots, and gingered pickles and then sandwiched in a steamed bun.  While I'm not sure if I would claim it's my favorite burger in the world, I concede that it's pretty damn awesome.  The burger is super juicy and deliciously seasoned.  The crispy shallots are key.

The edamame hummus sounded really interesting, so we got that too ($4):


That's $4 well spent.  The yuzu added a bright note to the hummus.  And the flatbread were perfectly seasoned and toasted.  I would definitely order that again.

Even with happy hour prices, the sushi isn't the cheapest around, but man, that butterfish.  And the edamame hummus.  And the sliders...

Just go.

And make sure to check out the bathroom.  If you listen carefully to the soundtrack they play in there, you can learn some useful Japanese phrases like "Is there a movie theater near here?" and "Where is the bicycle shop?"


Umami
2909 Webster St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 346-3431
http://www.umamisf.com/

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