April 5, 2017

Bay Eats Japan: April 2017

by Sarah Han

Welcome to Bay Eats Japan, where we’ll alert you to newly and soon-to-be opened Japanese restaurants and bars in the Bay Area. As we’ll be listing new places, a mention is not necessarily a recommendation. Use this as a handy way to keep track of new spots you might want to try in the future.  San Francisco […]

October 19, 2016

Happy Hour: Aunt Judy’s Passion Fruit Cocktail

by Kayoko Akabori

Around this time every year, Yoko’s aunt Judy starts bringing around bags of passion fruit for us. She has a very healthy and giving tree in her backyard, which produces plenty of fruit. Judy has been talking about the cocktail she makes with these passion fruit for some time now. Before we said goodbye last […]

October 18, 2016

Eat + Drink Here Now: Nomica

by Patrick Lu

    NOMICA 2223 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94114 T: 415.655.3280

October 17, 2016

Yoko: Shochu Lover and Umami Mart’s Playmate of the Century

by Kayoko Akabori

Shochu is finally getting some big love Stateside, thanks to a well-written piece in Playboy about the Japanese spirit. The article features an interview with Yoko!!! Shochu is Japan’s distilled spirit. It is not sake, nor a wine. Think of it this way: Mexico has its tequila, Russia has its vodka, the Caribbean has its rum, […]

July 18, 2016

Japanify: Shochu Root Beer Float

by Yoko Kumano

I’ve combined all of my loves into one recipe. It’s the Shochu Root Beer Float! I know that whisky is often used to spike root bear floats so I chose a shochu that has qualities of whisky. Kannoko Mugi Shochu is a barley shochu that is aged in oak barrels for three years making it a […]

July 2, 2015

Happy Hour: Kumquat Liqueur

by Kayoko Akabori

My partner Johnny’s mom has an ultra green thumb. Whenever I see her, she showers me with ripe fruits and vegetables from her bountiful garden. During the summer months, I am lucky to receive scallions that are two feet long, fava beans, and sweet red tomatoes. But with the weather fluctuating so much these days, sometime her plants […]

January 7, 2015

I Know What You Did in Paradise

by Yoko Kumano

Four friends find themselves in a secluded VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) on the North Shore of Oahu. They thought paradise was at arm’s length, but they were wrong. One by one each thirty-something is lured by the mysterious, irresistible charms of the tropical landscape. Kayoko, the strong-headed of the group, is on a one-woman […]

September 25, 2014

Event Recap: Shochu 101, From Kagoshima to California

by Yoko Kumano

Alchemy Bottle Shop opened this year in March on Grand Avenue in Oakland. Owners Tova and Peter’s selection is second-to-none, featuring everything from single malts (including a great selection from Japan) to hard-to-find amaros. Kayoko and I get lost in la-la land whenever we enter Alchemy. Our admiration for Alchemy Bottle Shop led to collaborating […]

July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Intro to Shochu

by Chris Cabrera

We just completed our fourth shochu talk and tasting, this time at Alchemy Bottle Shop in Oakland. What a great audience! We had a fantastic time talking to people about shochu, and thought that Washi Washino’s first blog post about shochu would be appropriate to revisit here too. Washi, Umami Mart’s resident Shochu Advisor shares […]

March 26, 2014

Upcoming Event: Umami Mart SF Launch Party

by Kayoko Akabori

The Bay Area has been so good to us. First, we opened our flagship store in Oakland in 2012 — to our surprise, people were into our Japanese kitchen and barware shop! Then, back in November, we opened up as a pop-up shop inside The Perish Trust, in San Francisco. Yoko and I anxiously opened […]