We got a phone call around December 20th that my brother Kei aka Casa de Kei, would be driving up from LA around Christmas. So we sprung at the chance of hosting him on Xmas Eve for a raw bar popup, accompanied by Martinis made by our barman Brad. Could there be a more fitting and festive way to close out the year at Umami Mart? We thought not.
Christmas Eve tends to be busy at Umami Mart – we can always count on the Great Procrastinators of the East Bay to pop their heads into our shop to get those last minute gifts. Usually it's for the most important people in their lives too! So we try our best to find the perfect gifts and make it all look nice. It's always a whirlwind and buzzy and fun. We love you, stragglers!
The bar opened at 11am and was packed pretty immediately. It added to the air of holiday frivolity; it was rad. After an exhausting holiday season, and new onset of the virus, we all needed, and deserved, some excitement.
Brad had nailed it with this Martini recipe, using Ki No Bi Sei Navy Strength Gin, dry vermouth, and honjozo sake. It was crisp, well-balanced, and boozy as hell. Absolutely perfect for Christmas Eve.
Kei, ever the lover of shellfish, procured all the seafood from Sea Stephanie Fish that morning and cracked and opened everything by hand.
The menu comprised of:
Santa Barbara Red Uni
Morro Bay Oysters with a Yuzu Kosho Mignonette
Ogo seaweed, tsukemono, and bread
The uni was luscious and sweet, while the abalone was refreshing with its unmistakable texture.
We loved seeing Kei back behind our bar again! Photo taken by Ian.
We didn't really get a chance to take photos this day but managed to pull a few from our friend Kristin Richerson (shown below). Thanks Kristin!
Thanks to you all who made it out to our bar. We hope to reopen soon and have more events like this!