Father's Day is June 16

It's been a while since Umamimart has put on a big event. Honestly, our Gift of Food benefit last April for Japan set the bar so high that I haven't had the chutzpah to do anything since. So Umamimart took a long hiatus from events. Too long.

But that all changed a week ago, when I teamed up with some of my favorite food friends in the Bay Area and put on a big Umamimart birthday party. We turned five this year! I've always envisioned Umamimart to be a forum to discuss food in artful, humorous, and often grotesque ways. But I've also enjoyed bringing the blog to real life, with events and Umamiventures. It's been an important element for Umamimart, to meet with readers and other writers, and make it a breathing entity -- something beyond what you get on the screen.

Together with Seto Ramen, Gyoza 8 and Sutton Cellars, we hosted a blowout, sold-out night full of noodles, dumplings and wine. Sutton Cellars is an urban winery is located in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco -- a funky, industrial part of town flourishing with artisan food and drink purveyors.

The event started at 7pm, and guests quickly piled in on a rainy Saturday night. The film Tampopo flickered on the wall while Yoko manned the Umamimart Shop Pop-Up booth and we all ran around gabbing, serving ramen and pouring wine.While there were a few hiccups (no table numbers! power outages! "Where's my food?!"), it was a joyous, memorable evening.

We ended up serving 50+ bowls of ramen and plates of gyoza. Wow! That's no small feat for our first pop-up. Here are some photos from the evening. [For captions, please enlarge the slideshow (bottom right corner) and click on “Show Info” on the top right corner. If you are on an iPad or iPhone, please access the photo gallery here.]

We thank everyone who made it out, and to all you readers who have been such a huge support to Umamimart through the years. Much love to you! More pop-ups like this to come in the future. I hope to see you soon!

Big thanks and hugs to: Carl Sutton, Conrad Seto, Jack Lin, Yoko Kumano, Washi Washino, Johnny Lopes, Sarah + Oren.

*All photos by Johnny Lopes.