If you've ever bought bubble tea and cursed the fact that you were drinking plain old green tea instead of a slushy piña colada with coconut jelly, then fear not — Umami has your back. Peruse their recently updated menu and, alongside classics like the Japanese old fashioned ($20), you'll find I'm In Love With The Coco ($15), a bubble tea-like cocktail that will live up to all your bubble tea expectations.
Sitting pretty at the top of Chinatown Mall, the newly renovated Umami is the perfect spot for dinner and drinks with friends before carving up the floor somewhere in the Valley, or perhaps you'll nab one of their secluded corner booths and settle in to make a night of it. Either way, you're bound to enjoy finding the elusive 'fifth taste' of umami in every element of their menu.
A window table is perfect for people watching, and the food, which is imaginatively curated by award-winning head chef Minh Le, is incredible. Ordering will be tough — because how do you decide on cheese croquettes (which are some of the meltiest you are ever likely to chow on), when there's salmon tartare ($22) and wagyu striploin steak ($39) on the menu? Plus, fragrant curries like the brisket red curry ($32) and the vegetable green curry ($28) will need a look in too.
So just how do you choose? Well, you don't necessarily have to. Just say "feed me Umami" and your waitstaff will take care of everything for you, with six courses delivered to your table — no decisions required.
At Umami, almost everything is designed for sharing, so lock in a few friends, order a couple of the signature share cocktails — the Smoking Eye of the Dragon ($45) is amazing — and let the good times roll. If you have room for dessert be sure to sample the Astro Bo(y)mb ($16), a lemony sweet delight with piquant passionfruit jelly.
The décor is pleasingly kitsch (check out the lucky cat wall), there's just the right amount of ambient light for private conversation, and you're smack-bang in the Valley for pre- or post-dinner activities. So whether you're after bubble tea or a boogie after dinner, Umami has all bases covered.