If you asked me what I thought about Ozumo Oakland prior to my recent dinner a couple of weeks ago, I'd tell you that it's a good place to eat sushi in a swanky modern ambiance, though there was nothing extraordinary to make it stand a part against other Japanese sushi bars. I've had dinner at Ozumo a handful of times, but it wasn't until my last visit with my friend Laquel of Kid Free Travel that I was genuinely impressed by the changes they've put into place.
The menu hasn't varied much with the exception of a few new additions, but overall the food has really evolved and developed character. It looks like the kitchen has gained more control over the food they make. Ace Chon, General Manager of Ozumo Oakland, is spinning things up by working alongside with Sous Chefs Dennis Imazumi and Travis Royal Rauch to create food that gets people excited. You may have heard recently that Ozumo launched Ramen Wednesday offering a tasting menu of three ramen bowls. A few weeks ago, a photo of a beautiful beet cured salmon was posted on Ozumo's Instagram. These are the kind of things we can look forward to as new dishes are conceived, but in the meanwhile here's a look at all the things we had during dinner.
Dohyo means "sumo wrestling ring", so you can see where the inspiration of this plating came from. A classic dish that is one of my all-time favorites at Ozumo. A beautiful spicy tuna tartare with avocado, cucumber, edamame, tobiko, ponzu and wasabi oil served with fried gyoza wrappers. It's insanely delicious.
Hanabi means "fireworks" and that's represented well in this classic Ozumo dish. We loved the shimmery fresh yellow tail sashimi served with avocado and a warm ginger jalapeño ponzu poured over.
Saikyo miso and sake kasu marinated black cod with kaiso seaweed salad. Such delicate textures and flavors. The buttery cod just melts in your mouth and is perfectly cooked. If you're unfamiliar, saikyo miso is a sweet yellow miso that comes from Kyoto and sake kasu is the lees leftover from sake production, often used in marinades and broth.
The gyu kakuni is a dish comprised of braised black angus short ribs, potato yam mash, glazed root vegetables, shungiku and red bell pepper purée. The short ribs were tender and hearty, loved the roasted Tokyo turnips and mash.
A tasty roll with spicy albacore, macadamia nuts, shiso leaf topped with seared scallop, jalapeño, sweet soy, and spicy aioli. We both were not fans of the raw slices of jalapeños, but the roll itself was tasty and filling.
Chocolate Passion Fruit Mousse
The night ended with a passion fruit mousse covered in chocolate with a side of ice cream. Tart and sweet, a nice way to end our meal.
Did I mention that they have a really awesome happy hour? $2 off rolls, $1 off nigiri and a really awesome bar bites menu. I'm definitely coming back.
Thank you so much for a fantastic dinner, Ozumo Oakland.
2251 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
- M-F 11:30AM-2:00PM
- M-Th 5:00PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 5:00PM-10:00PM
- F-Sa 4:00PM-10:30PM
- M-Th 4:00PM-10:00PM
- M-Sa 4:00PM-7:00PM