Monday, May 24, 2010

It Was Nice To Know Ya Umenoya! *sniffle*

A sad farewell to Umenoya Japanese Restaurant. A week ago fellow reader Junichi had tipped me on Umenoya's decision of closing shop after 22 years of service. (Thanks Junichi.) This coming Friday will be Umenoya's last day. My first Nice to Know Ya Umenoya post here.

I can't exactly say I was a regular at Umenoya but I really enjoyed their range of atypical Japanese menu items served. But all is not lost. It sounds like the folks here will be helping out Ichiro off Convoy (next to Hobby People) and will be bringing along with them a portion of their menu.

Good thing cause I think Ichiro could definitely benefit from some Japanese comfort food Umenoya style.. ;)

I always respected places that carried a collection of Oishinbo manga. Immediate kudo points from me for whatever it's worth.

Today on the specials board the Shiitake Renkonn Surimi-Age (Fish Surimi Stuffed Shiitake Mushroom and Lotus Root Tempura) caught my interest.

They made it a special single portion for me ($3.50).

The surimi ground fish paste also included some tarako cod roe. Had a very buttery flavor and was fantastic sandwiched between the crunchy lotus root. Stuffed in shiitake mushrooms, also quite awesome. Both lightly fried in tempura batter and accompanied with a tentsuyu dip.

I also ordered some Kappa Maki (cucumber rolls). A Kappa by the way is a Japanese mythical water creature that apparently loves cucumbers... :)

Such a great refreshing appetizer especially when made fresh. I find them a bit overpriced at sushi bars but for only a $1.80 here the price is definitely right. With just a little dab of wasabi soy sauce for me.. *munch*

Lunches come with a small iceberg salad with ponzu dressing and miso soup.

Both always fresh. The miso soup here is usually a nice medium rich.
For my main, I checked out their Tannin-don today ($5.25).

I'll be repeating my first post but if you ever wondered what the Oyako in Oyako-don meant, it means "family." A donburi rice bowl with both Chicken And Egg, hence a "family bowl." A bit morbid when you think about it haha. Anyway the "Tannin" in Tannin-don on the other hand means "stranger" and is usually a donburi with Pork (or Beef) with fluffy eggs (Pork and Eggs are strangers.. get it?).

Another Oyako named offshoot using the "family in a bowl" concept is with Salmon and Ikura (salmon roe). So I then concluded that a simmered Kabocha with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds would technically be a vegetarian Oyako-don! hehe. :)

Anyway asked for the eggs yurume or cooked loose (rare).. Wiggly goodness and how tamago-toji's should be IMO, but the eggs are typically cooked firmer here in the states.

The flavors perhaps nothing out of the ordinary but executed well, tender and moist. The broth that is on the sweet side had a decent robustness and was to my liking.

Thanks for the great lunch Umenoya! Hope to be back one last time before Friday. Wanted to get the word out as soon as possible in case there were other Umenoya fans reading out there.

うめのやさん、22年間ごくろうさまでした。。 ごちそうさまです!! Hope to see you soon at Ichiro with your same comfort dishes full of Umenoya heart. :)

Umenoya Japanese Restaurant, 8650 Miramar Rd # B, San Diego, CA 92126
..soon to relocate staff at:
Ichiro Japanese Restaurant, 4344 Convoy St Ste Q, San Diego, CA 92111


K and S said...

wow 22 years! glad they will be helping the other restaurant out :)

Dennis K. said...

Hi K&S, me too! At least during the last few years I think their location may have hurt business. It's nice to know a part of the restaurant will go on (and in a more diner friendly part of town).

KirkK said...

This is pretty sad news Dennis. There's a dearth of decent places to eat around that area on Miramar.....

Anonymous said...

Aw that's too bad. I've never been here; I didn't even know it existed! Though now I remember your older post on it. Had I remembered earlier, I would have definitely taken Boyfriend here.

Junichi said...

Glad you made it out there before the closing. Can't wait for them to spice up the menu at Ichiro.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kirk! I know what you mean about Miramar Rd... And Umenoya had so much character (though from the outside it was hard to tell..). BTW, welcome back!?

Hi Kirbie, yeah it's too bad. The lady seemed very upbeat about it though. :)

Hi Junichi! Thanks again. Ichiro can start by offering Fukushinzuke with their Japanese curry. Seriously, what's up with that!? ;)
I hope the prices stay reasonable as well. I always thought Ichiro was a bit high for what you got.

fliu said...

I go to this place often. My sister and I dubbed it DJP (Depressing Japanese Place) b/c it's always so dark and quiet. BUT the food is good. I always get their nabeyaki udon and Fried oysters appetizer. So affordable. But I felt the location was tough and a bit dingy. My tummy had a few bad experiences there (even though I truly love the food). Nonetheless, it's going to be sad to see them leave Miramar! Will most def visit them at Ichiro!

Wonderful post and pics! Well done :)


Dennis K. said...

Thanks Faye! DJP is too funny! ;) Yeah I only visited during the day and I always hoped the place was busier at night. I'm curious in what they'll bring to Ichiro. Anyway thanks again. :)