San Francisco Bay Area

October 17, 2012

Just For You: The Best Hangtown Fry in San Francisco

by Kayoko Akabori

In the spirit of getting back into writing and sharing my thoughts more often on Umami Mart, I want to tell you the story of how Johnny and I met. It was the summer of 2011. I had been going on dates throughout the year, and “putting myself out there” on internet dating sites and […]

October 8, 2012

Culinography: The Thomas (Napa)

by Erin Gleeson

I had a lot of fun shooting recently with Chef Brad Farmerie (of Public in NYC) for his new restaurant in Napa called The Thomas. There has been a lot of buzz over the building itself, which has a prime location on Main Street in downtown Napa. It was the site of a crime scene in […]

August 29, 2012

Skankynavia: California: Fast Food Frenzy!

by Anders Arhoj

I spent my summer of 2012 in California, my favourite place in the world — after my couch (ok, maybe Japan comes in as a close second). It was a pure blast, from the moment I landed, designed and help build out the Umami Mart shop, just to get on the plane again a month […]

July 4, 2012

Forest Feast at the Farmer’s Market

by Erin Gleeson

I love this time of the year when farmers markets set up during the evenings downtown. There’s nothing better at the end of the day than a stroll through the market, basket in hand, the smell of fresh fruit and herbs in the air. I met Jack after work at the market and we gathered […]

June 27, 2012

Great UM Noodletown: Shanghai Dumpling Shop (Millbrae)

by Kayoko Akabori

After all this talk of fancy dining, 4-star service, Le Bernardin and the lack thereof, I’m bringing it all back to what we’re all about: SOUL. Umami Mart is all about love and sharing and laughter and how food plays a great role in that in our lives. Yoko and I had an errand to […]

June 7, 2012

Great UM Noodletown: Gombei’s Chicken Udon

by Kayoko Akabori

We all have those comfort dishes that are close to our heart, and transport us back to childhood when biting into whatever it may be. For me, a bowl of chicken udon from Gombei always makes me tear up with nostalgia. Originally a little diner-style eatery in San Jose’s Japantown, Gombei has been a Bay […]

May 30, 2012

Great UM Noodletown: Ramen Parlor (San Mateo)

by Kayoko Akabori

When it comes to matters of eating out, I am pretty inflexible. Since I will travel long distances for good food, I get pretty upset if I don’t get what I had originally intended. By nature, I am quite stubborn (classic Taurean trait), and I am even more so about what I eat. So when […]

May 15, 2012

Ask Sushi Kuni: Makimono (Rolls)

by Kayoko Akabori

Do you guys all know my pops? His name is Kunio, and he is a sushi chef. Classically trained as a tempura chef, he was offered to transfer to Los Angeles where Inagiku, the Tokyo restaurant he worked at, was opening a location in the iconic Bonaventure Hotel. So, the Akaboris all ended up in […]

May 10, 2012

Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon: Thad Vogler (Bar Agricole)

by Kayoko Akabori

Mr. Thad Vogler needs no introduction. He is a leading barman in the Bay Area and beyond, who opened Bar Agricole in San Francisco in 2011. Named after agricole rum (rum made with 100% raw cane sugar), Thad has put his heart, soul, personal philosophies, and many years of experience into the restaurant — which […]

May 8, 2012

Gochi: Revitalizing Japanese Cuisine in Cupertino

by Kayoko Akabori

Gochi opened quietly in 2005, in a little non-descript strip mall on the back roads of Cupertino. It was actually a bit traumatizing for me — they bought out a nasty dive bar called the Peacock Lounge where my friends and I used to go when visiting our hometown for the holidays. The “Cock”, as […]