New eats: Umami Cafe

Umami Cafe

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By Mari Taketa

The buzz from one corner of town starts early.

“Umami opened today at Harbor Court,” @ShawnNakamoto, who works nearby, tweets on Feb. 7.

Yeah? What is it?

“New sandwich/coffee shop.”

Ah, so. This part of downtown, right at the foot of Bethel and Nimitz, isn’t exactly a hotbed of grinds. Umami’s downstairs from the empty Palomino/Cassis space, in fact, where Satura Cakes used to be until December.

“Their offerings are so Japanese,” @ShawnNakamoto tweets a few days later. She’s been investigating. “Beautiful packaging. Like Shirokiya but more upscale. Kawaiiiiii!!”

And a few days later: “They have a natto ahi rice bowl and a spicy ahi sandwich. And a lobster salad sandwich which I’m dying to try.”

Then she twitpics the specials menu. Sparerib soup. Ahi belly nitsuke. Eggplant parmesan. What is this place?

Umami Cafe
55 Merchant St.
Umami Cafe Hawaii on Facebook