Ozumo Concepts International has reopened a version of Ozumo – formerly located in Santa Monica Place, into a new Izakaya-style restaurant, Bamboo Izakaya on Ocean Avenue. The celebrated culinary team from the Bay Area – we also recently reported on their new private club venue next door, 41 Ocean, has kept the same quality and service while adding a new interactive iPad menu to the experience.
Executive Chef Toshio Sakamaki has introduced new affordable small plates, paired with the same high end sake and bar program by Director of Sake Jessica Furui that Ozumo fans have come to love. General Manager Hiro Christoph also made the move into the 5,800 square-foot space.
The iPad technology, features images of the dishes from seared Albacore Tataki or ‘Pari Pari’ crispy rice and spicy tuna sushi that guests can see before they order. Eventually, diners will be able to place orders directly from the iPad, hopefully making a seamless transition from the kitchen to the table. The concept is for the servers become more table hosts while guiding suggestions for the customers. “We wanted to create a new casual space where diners come for the drinks and stay for the food,” states Ozumo Concepts International Founder Jeremy Umland. “We will offer something for every taste and budget, and introduce a concept that fits into the young and fun neighborhood.”
What impressed us the most was the selection of Sake from high-end Harushika Daiginjo paired with garlic edamame to Maboroshi Ginjo served with the Hamachi and ponzu to the Chikuri in Hou Hou along with a chocolate crepe for dessert. We recommend asking for Robert if you’d like to be taken though an amazing culinary experience, though we are certain the entire staff here is well trained and knowledgeable.
Signature dishes also include hot pots with Mini Udon, wheat noodles, fish cake, wakame, and negi, in a clear soy-dashi broth; and small plates such as Tontoro, a braised pork belly with soy dashi gravy that keep the menu interesting. For more reserved diners, try the selection of Robata items, such as Moromi Miso Salmon; Alaskan Black Cod; Gyu Steak or Kalbi Beef Ribs; or Kushiyaki skewers with shishito peppers. Die hard sushi fans can pick from a selection of sushi and sashimi options, along with signature house rolls such as the Yaki Gani, a baked snow crab soy paper hand roll with asparagus, tobiko, and soy-butter mayo; or the Shacho roll with snow crab, fresh water eel, big-eye tuna, and avocado with spicy mayo.
For more information, visit www.BambooIzakaya.com.