Although Japan is sometimes known as "the land of the rising sun," in culinary circles it is also referred to as "the land of the drooling tongue." Please your tasting organ with today's deal. For $20, you get $40 worth of Japanese and Asian-fusion cuisine from Umami Asian Kitchen in Chagrin Falls.
Umami's red-brick walls and wood-trimmed interior give the upscale dining den a warm glow, while minimalist décor and two-tone artwork add a polished pop. The menu comes in lunch and dinner breeds, offering up a variety of traditional and adventurous options for the dull-averse diner. Lunch is a study in dualism, featuring small and big plates for medium-to-large appetites. Sate sushi cravings with a spicy tuna roll ($8), an edible sculpture garnished with spicy aioli, carrot, tobiko, and sesame. Miso soup ($4) is a plentiful standby, while some parts of the menu branch into other Asian cuisines, such as the masaman curry chicken ($10), served with black rice, tomato, galangal, lime and peanuts.
A fancy fusion feast will impress your dates and punctuate your individuality during dinner with mom, showing off your sense of adventure and your taste for variety. Dinner provides an extended sushi and sashimi selection, as well as further non-traditional treats. Try the goat-cheese dumplings ($8.50), creamy morsels trimmed with seared greens and soy-ginger butter. Soy and sriracha-glazed tofu ($15) is served with edamame-yuzu hummus and carrot. Wine, signature cocktails, and a variety of Asian beers are also ready and waiting to cleanse food-saturated palates.
Umami strives to incorporate local and sustainably harvested ingredients in its dishes, while seeking out the freshest fish available. The big-eye tuna is flown in from Hawaii twice weekly, and the goat cheese is siphoned from local goats at Mackenzie Creamery in Hiram. Eating fresh and locally sourced foodstuffs is an excellent way to support struggling farmers and fishermen, in addition to preventing conditions such as wanderlust, distal digestion, and spontaneous long-range appetite extension.
Though it's a tiny sliver of a restaurant (barely 30 seats), the menu embraces big tastes and lots of them. The result is some dishes whose parts play together in a delicious and harmonious whole... – Beth Segal, The Plain Dealer
The food is incredible. The vibe and attitude is very good. Particularly like the masaman curry and every single fish special is well executed. – Opentable.com reviewer who dined on 12/17/10
Under the guidance of chef Matthew Anderson, whose cooking has been spotlighted on WKYC, Umami serves a contemporary pan-Asian menu that changes with the seasons. Locally sourced vegetables, tofu, meats, and goat's-milk products are at the core of Umami’s innovative Japanese cuisine, working in harmony with imported, never-frozen seafood to earn praise in publications such as Cleveland Scene and Cleveland.com’s A-list.
Diners enjoy their small and large plates beneath delicate pendant lights that softly illuminate the romantic setting decorated with floral artwork and bamboo shoots. Umami offers a small list of wines, beers, and sakes that harmonize with meals, as well as tasty cocktails such as the Lotus with lychee and ginger.