30819 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
Westlake Village, CA 91362
Ph: (818) 706-7772
So, I went to Umi sushi yesterday. This place was very highly rated on Yelp. It was the typical sushi spot that when you pull up and see the strip mall it doesn’t looks like you’re gonna be expecting much.
When we went inside it turns out, although it looks like it’s been there a while, that the sushi owner took over the restaurant about a year ago. He obviously was very experienced and has been in the business a long time. It must be really tough to get super great sushi in that part of the world because it isn’t close to any of the ports. But he did a really, really fantastic job.
The two highlights of the meal that we had, one was the seaweed salad with octopus. Octopus is a tricky animal in the fact that when you eat it if it is not done perfectly it is horribly chewy and I can’t even get through it and the same thing goes for seaweed itself, but in this case they did a fantastic job. There is a little bit of vinegar to the dressing, but it wasn’t overpowering. And the mixture of the seaweed and the octopus was fantastic. A seaweed and octopus salad could also be really dense to the point where you really only want a very small amount for a whole meal because it is just so much work to eat. He did a wonderful job balancing this while you still look like you have something on the plate by putting it over with appeared to be some type of a very, very light fried noodle. The kind that are white-white and fall apart when you touch them. It was possibly the best thing he had on the menu. It is one of the best seaweed salads I have ever had.
The other items that really struck me was what he called the starfish roll. I can’t remember the exact ingredients but I believe it was spicy crab on the inside on the outside it was wrapped with yellowtail and tuna. For myself, if you’re gonna go to the trouble of having a roll, it is nice to have multiple ingredients in it like this so you get something that tastes really different from normal sushi.
Another item that we had that was pretty good was one that he had where instead of putting the fish directly over rice he actually put the fish directly over a rice block that I believe had been dipped into tempura batter and fried or fried with something else on top. It wasn’t my favorite thing that he served, but it was still quite good and was very different than anything I had before.
One other interesting feature was that next door was a little retro candy/soda pop store that the girlfriend took me into. I’ve never seen anything like it, but what they specialize in are old brands of sodas and candy. So, I’m not sure if these companies have just been making these candies and soda all along or if they’re part of a retro come back of sodas and candies from the 50s onward. One that I found really interesting was a very interesting soda that I believe was made in Britain. No matter where I looked on it I couldn’t find ingredients which I didn’t think was legal to sell in the U.S. So, it is clear that this place has some really unique things you wouldn’t normally find anywhere else.