UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
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Two weeks ago, we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek into The Kebabery, a new eatery opening soon in North Oakland. It's one the most anticipated Bay Area restaurant openings of the year! Camino owners Allison Hopelain and Russ Moore have partnered with Brian Crookes (manager at Camino), for The Kebabery, offering Russ' now-famous meat and vegetable kebabs, served in a casual setting.

The occasion for the event was to celebrate the release of Japanify All Day Zine. Featuring 21 new and updated simple Japanese recipes by Yoko, along with her photos and doodles, the zine is Umami Mart's very first publication. We wanted to commemorate its release with a blow-out party and The Kebabery gang graciously opened its doors for us.

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Russ and Chef Traci Matsumoto-Esteban concocted a special menu for our event.

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Each ticket to the party included one lamb kebab, one mushroom kebab, a piece of Russ' famous flatbread, sides, and sake or beers on tap.

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We featured three sakes by Ichinokura Brewery, from Miyagi prefecture, that we thought would pair well with the kebabs.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"]20170223-1850-4726.jpg Me with Kou-chan (visiting from Japan) and Mr. Enomoto of Ichinokura Brewery[/caption]

We also sold Japanify zines and debuted our limited-edition Japanify Sake and Noodle Pins at the party.

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That night was Russ and Traci's second time using the grill. We're happy to testify that the grill worked like magic!

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The event started at 6 p.m. Here's a photo of The Kebabery at dusk, before it got too busy.



And the guests! Lots friends and Umami Mart customers were present – mingling, eating, and drinking.

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Here are Yoko and I, having a blast.

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[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"]20170223-1841-4710.jpg Hi Cabs![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480"]20170223-1845-4719.jpg Hi Sarah![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"]20170223-1842-4714.jpg Hi Traci![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480"]20170223-2002-4761.jpg And here's Sarah, Manager of The Kebabery[/caption]

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We gave The Kebabery a maneki neko, a good luck charm that's often displayed in the entrance of shops and restaurants in Japan.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"]20170223-2021-4770.jpg Allison with maneki neko[/caption]

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The Japanify Zine Party at The Kebabery crew:

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We thought that The Kebabery would be open by the time we planned for our Japanify Zine party, but alas, it's still not open yet! Hopefully, it will open soon; the neighborhood cannot wait much longer! THANK YOU to The Kebabery team for hosting such a fun event. Please stay tuned for our next collaboration with Camino for our annual Sake Dinner in April. Kanpai!

Photos by Johnny Lopes