For one of my first nights in Charleston, a friend took me to Umami - a new sushi restaurant in the East End. Umami is supposed to be the fifth sense of taste - most often the mushroom is used as an example for this flavor.
Umami is located on Washington Street East, next door to the locally famous Main Kwong. The owners of the two businesses are said to be friends.
Parking is around the back of the building, and I haven't seen that get too busy yet. The interior has clean lines and vibrant colors, and the menu has around 100 dishes, many of which being sushi rolls. I like that they denoted the rolls without raw items. They also have a hibachi grill.
I got a spicy California roll and an eagle roll. The spicy California is pretty straight forward, but I did appreciate their spicy mayo sauce. It had a little tang, but not too much. And the eagle roll was pretty tasty - tempura shrimp, avocado and spider sauce. I think the difference between mediocre sushi and sushi that blows you away is the freshness. Umami is fresh. Simple ingredients, but fresh and prepared correctly make all the difference. For under $15, you can't really beat it.
Umami Sushi and Hibachi Grill, 1401 Washington St. E., is open from 11
a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and then again from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday, it is open from
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Sunday, it is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call
304-343-8989 for more info.