A Grudging Admission that Umi is Better than Blue C Sushi

Umi Logo.jpg
Umi is filled with tiny tables and dudes wearing Ed Hardy T- shirts. But don't hold it against them.
I recently had my ass handed to me by the Peanut Gallery for what the general public apparently thought was an overly generous review of Blue C Sushi. Well fuck you, general public. I wanted to get back onto the old horse and try some more sushi, so we went to Umi Sake House.

We had reservations, but even so they sat us down at one of those low, knee- high tables that places sometimes have. I know that the conventional wisdom among douchebags is that low tables are sexy. I disagree, although I will say that if your date gets turned on by the height of the table, then I would like her phone number. Not even your mom is that easy. Furthermore, I for one DON'T find it sexy to have to lean and crouch over the low table so that your nigiri sushi doesn't drip soy sauce on your tie.

Luckily the staff at Umi is gracious and responsive. They moved us to a regular, human- sized table, and not one obviously designed for Oompa- Loompas, then they VERY QUICKLY brought our food. We started with the Agedashi Tofu ($6). Umi does a good rendition of this one: gigantic cubes of tofu in a crispy blonde crust splash around in a shallow pool of sweet sauce.

The sashimi is pretty tasty too. Seven bucks gets you maybe five slices of salmon, pin-striped in pink and white. Unagi is the same price: sweet saucy parallelograms of delicate flesh with a round fatty fullness and a smoky finish. We went for the "full set" of albacore. It's $12 for 10 pieces and it's awesome. Albacore is my all-time favorite sushi because its texture is so soft and subservient, the way I wish your mom would be. Best of all, albacore is in no danger of being overfished. So go ahead and eat the ever-living fuck out of it.

Umi's rolls are well executed: The spicy tuna roll ($6) leaves a bit of lingering heat in the finish and doesn't have too much of that shitty mayonnaise sauce that lesser spicy tuna rolls sometimes have. Umi also, unfortunately, has an extensive list of the rolls with cutesy names like the "Crunchy Lizard" roll or the "Belltown Barbie" roll. Normally I would shy away from this crap, but against my complaining we went with the "California Kristy."

REAL CRABMEAT and cucumber was wrapped in rice, studded with tobiko, and topped with a slab of lightly seared albacore. The California Kristy roll was served on the plate strewn in daikon sprouts and drizzled with droplets of a sweet and spicy sauce. I wanted to hate the California Kristy, but I admit that it was very good: creamy and crunchy and salty and sweet all at once.

I'm glad I climbed back onto the sushi wagon at Umi because they serve some pretty good sushi. ALMOST, some would say, as good as Blue C.

Rating 8 broken rating systems out of 10

Umi is located at 2230 1st Ave in Belltown.

For reservations call 374-8717

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