If you’ve ever been to Chopstix Too in Convoy, you will now see it as Kumi Cafe. They held their grand opening on April 1. It is located in the same location on Kearny Mesa Road, at the corner of Armour Street. in a plaza filled with many other food and shopping places such as Ross, Mitsuwa Marketplace, Nishiki Ramen and Poke 1/2. Kumi Cafe features a variety of Japanese cuisine consisting of many sushi, ramen, and bento dishes.
This new restaurant has a very different style compared to how the store used to be decorated. From what was a more old and traditional style, the store has turned into a more modern and brighter place. Despite being short of staff, the wait time at this restaurant was reasonable and being in the food industry, myself, the long wait was understandable. There was a single server that looked like he was handling the majority of the restaurant by himself with the help of one other server who brought food out as it was ready. It had very similar options to the old restaurant that used to be there, with just a few new additions. Their menu has a lot of categories ranging from salads and appetizers to rice dishes, noodle dishes and a variety of sushi rolls. Also, if you enjoy drinking beer or sake, they have happy hour from 3-6 everyday. My order was cold soba noodles, takoyaki, a baked salmon roll, and a Philadelphia hand roll. They also serve wasabi and ginger and a cute mason jar mug for water or any other drinks you may order.
Unfortunately, the quality was not as good as one would hope for. Presentation wise, everything looked delicious and very appetizing. I got my cold soba noodles first with my order of 4 takoyaki balls and then my sushi rolls shortly after.
What was enjoyable about this new restaurant is how they kept the authenticity of the culture, using trays you might see in Japan allowing you to experience what it would be like to eat at a Japanese restaurant. This was something Chopstix Too didn’t have.
Taste wise, everything was pretty mediocre. The seared salmon on the baked salmon roll was a bit dry, oily and had a bad fishy taste to it. If you know good sushi, you can tell the difference between good and bad fish on sushi. It was drenched in spicy mayo, eel sauce and the roll was a classic California roll which was expected. The Philadelphia hand roll was pretty good, if you never had a hand roll before it is rice rolled into seaweed in the shape of a cone with certain ingredients depending on the roll. The hand roll was topped off with cubes of cream cheese, salmon, and avocado. Their takoyaki was enjoyable. Takoyaki is known to burn your tongue from all the heat that is trapped inside the tiny ball of octopus, but the one they served was more lukewarm. The best part of the meal was the cold soba noodles. It was most enjoyable on a very hot day.
The food was not that impressive here but only a few of their dishes were tried. This place is worth coming back to try other things on their menu. There were many people ordering their bento boxes that looked very fun to eat. This is a recommendable place for anyone that enjoys classic Japanese food.