Umami Mart Sake

Don't Miss Our Anniversary Sale

Our Anniversary Sale starts today! This August, we celebrate five years in Oakland and as a huge THANK YOU to you, loyal customer, we're putting a large selection of our signature bar tools, glassware, and homewares on sale, up to 50% off!...

Sake Gumi

Celebrating Hiroshima (August 2017)

Every year, August is a time for reflection. As a Japanese-American (and as a human) it is a time to reflect upon the events of August 6, 1945, when the American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, dropped the world’s first atom...

The Umami Mart Five Year Scrapbook

2017 not only marks five years of our Oakland shop (opened August 2012), but 10 years of our blog (started in February 2007). I'm not usually the sentimental type - and I've certainly never been big on scrapbooking. But you only get to celebrate your five...

Japanify

Japanify: Sake On-the-Rocks

"Sake on ice? Are you serious?"... is usually the response I get when I tell people it's one of my favorite ways to enjoy sake in the summer. But you can't just pour any sake on the rocks. The best...

The Umami Reader

Twin Peaks Bento

Kyle MacLachlan made this commercial to promote Twin Peaks: The Return in Japan. It's quirky and I'm into it. The best part is when he says "maruku-surunoga pointo desu" or, "a technique point is to make it round." I love the zig-zag nori a la...

The Umami Reader

Drake, Bourbon, and Twin Peaks Drinks

All Twin Peaks fanatics should listen to Wrapped in Podcast - a podcast dedicated to the third season of Twin Peaks. I envision that it's three guys, on a couch, discussing and dissecting each episode; I appreciate the support it yields for all the hair-raising happenings in the...

Sake Gumi

G. I. Yamagata (July 2017)

This month's sakes are all from Yamagata Prefecture, to belatedly celebrate that Yamagata's sakes were granted Geographical Indication (G.I.) last December. So alongside Bordeaux wine, Darjeeling tea and Tuscan olive oil, Yamagata sakes are now recognized as a product that originates from a...

Japanify

Niku Soba

If you didn't know already, we have a sake club called Sake Gumi and it's awesome. Every month, we choose a theme, and the sakes reflect that theme. Sometimes the theme is a style of sake, sometime I choose how sakes pair...

Japanify

Japanify: Umeshu Highball

I've been really excited to see the umeshu (Japanese plum infused in shochu) popping up on cocktail menus in non-Japanese restaurants. My most recent experience of having an umeshu cocktail in an unexpected place was at Al's Place in San Francisco. Their approach was very...

Happy Hour

Happy Hour: White Ale Shiso Spinner

Since celebrating Solstice last week, we can finally say that summer is here. In the Bay Area, we've already experienced a heat wave that rivals those in New York or Tokyo - we could not handle it. I've created a cool, refreshing beer cocktail for just those days...

Sake Gumi News

Sake + Cheese (June 2017)

Pulling out balled-up leftover cheeses and one-cup sakes from my fridge is my weeknight, wind-down, go-to ritual after work. Even though some cheeses pair better with certain types of sake, I love nibbling on cheeses with whatever sakes happen to be rolling around in...

Bay Eats Japan

Okkon Pops Up in Oakland for Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is everywhere in Japan. It's one of those foods that appear in festivals and restaurants across all prefectures - making different styles of okonomiyaki. What is okonomiyaki? Okonomiyaki, is a savory pancake consisting of an egg and flour batter, mixed with vegetables like cabbage and often ground...