A clever take on seafood izakaya and sushi has come to South Bay, with the owners of West L.A.’s popular Hamasaku restaurant opening Umi by Hamasaku in El Segundo this past October. Expect the same creative Japanese fare for which the flagship has long been known—an affordable Omakase—all served in a casual yet stylish environment showcasing contemporary artwork, a raw bar and open kitchen.
We wanted to bring our passion for sushi to the area; we also felt that the area is booming and in need of a good neighborhood sushi spot.”
“We chose El Segundo because Yoya and I are both local boys of the South Bay,” says General Manager Jesse Duron, who operates both establishments with partners Michael Ovitz and Executive Chef Yoya Takahashi. “Yoya moved to South Bay when he first came to the states from Japan, and I was born and raised in Torrance. We wanted to bring our passion for sushi to the area; we also felt that the area is booming and in need of a good neighborhood sushi spot.”
Found at The Point—an outdoor shopping and dining development at the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard that also houses eateries such as Superba Food & Bread, and Smitten Ice Cream—Umi by Hamasaku features a 56-seat dining room, with space for four people at the raw bar and a patio that accommodates 28. The restaurant’s décor nods to its sibling’s Japanese aesthetic via blonde wood accents, but expect some modern updates as well: a large, bright white-tiled open kitchen; artwork from Ovitz’s personal collection; and curtains imported from Japan.
As for the culinary offerings, chef Takahashi has crafted a menu of unique twists on Japanese classics for lunch and dinner, including seasonal shared plates; a traditional and modern izakaya offering; various sushi preparations; and an omakase featuring a starter, duo of sashimi courses, 10-piece nigiri course and handroll. Among the most popular items (all prepared using fresh, local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients) is the chef’s riff on spicy tuna crispy rice (with crispy rice tots and diced spicy Hawaiian tuna); toro tartare (Kiwami toro, apple, yamaimo, quail egg, yakiniku sauce and micro red shiso); roasted cauliflower (with creme fraiche mentaiko); and ceviche maki (Maine lobster ceviche and asparagus wrapped in soy paper and avocado).
Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Umi by Hamasaku
UMI BY HAMASAKU
310.524.9980 | umibyhamasaku.com