11/26/2014 11:55AM ● Published by Jennifer Resnicke
49er Roll – Photos by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group
Gallery: Umi Sushi – Dec. '14 [5 Images] Click any image to expand.
One of the first things I noticed upon sliding into a sleek white leather booth and resting my forearms on the chocolate-rich wooden table was pop music playing—loud enough to notice, but not loud enough to feel compelled to sing along. The vibe was decidedly casual and the décor was sparingly hip, in a chic minimalist kind of way.
As we settled in with some hot tea, our first dish came out: Ganja. I know what you’re thinking, but Umi is not that kind of friend. Ganja in this context was spicy tuna wrapped in Japanese mint leaves, tempura battered, fried, and served with a ponzu dipping sauce. The aromatic mint, earthy tuna and sharper notes of ponzu made for a lovely meander through flavor town.
Next up was an offering from the “Gigantic Rolls” section, and the description is not a marketing ploy. These rolls are definitely best cut into several bites. We really enjoyed the balance of the 49er, which boasted spicy tuna, crab salad, cucumber and avocado, plus tuna, salmon, roe and thinly sliced lemon atop. One of the more inventive combinations was the Snow White roll, which featured supple white tuna, verdant Japanese bean sprouts, crunchy deep-fried garlic (of course the Italian in me orders garlicky sushi) and ponzu sauce. We were also impressed with the entire section of vegetarian rolls; all too often vegetarians are relegated to the scant offering of “hand rolls” that are heavy on the seaweed and light on the cucumber and carrot.
Dessert offerings included the go-to strawberry and mango mochi (always a favorite with the toothsome layer of pounded rice giving way to the sweet ice-cream center), but next time I’m trying the tempura banana with mango ice cream.
Between the inventive appetizer and intriguing desserts, Umi Sushi has me taking a second look at strip-mall shopping centers.
Umi Sushi, 107 South Harding Boulevard, Suite A, Roseville, 916-788-8333, umiumiumi.com.