The Japanese restaurant Ozumo, noted for adding an inventive element to San Francisco’s dining scene and for helping revitalize Uptown Oakland, will bring its hip vibe and menu to San Jose’s Santana Row.
The enterprise will open in early May in a sleek space near the Hotel Valencia and offer an Ozumo first: An outdoor Japanese beer garden.
Founder-owner Jeremy Umland launched Ozumo San Francisco on The Embarcadero in 2001 with a combined sushi bar, robata grill and sake lounge. Not many years later his Ozumo Oakland blazed a decade-long trail in Uptown, helping fuel a restaurant renaissance in that neighborhood.
A couple of years ago, he set his sights on the South Bay. He’s taken over the former Blowfish Sushi space and undertaken a major renovation that moved the entrance to the front sidewalk.
He’s calling this location a “modern-day izakaya where drinking and eating areas are blended into one” in a more casual fashion.
The kitchen of chef Salvador Alvarez, who trained under master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi in Los Angeles, will feature such dishes as Gindara (black cod); Chilled Somen Noodles with uni; and Shio Koji-marinated Chicken.
Japanese craft beers and the country’s big three (Sapporo, Kirin and Asahi) will reign in the atrium-style beer garden. The indoor lounge will showcase sake and Japanese whiskey. And mixologist Rob Floyd has created a bar program that includes an only-at-Santana-Row cocktail, the Mono Cham Martini, made with Grey Goose vodka and Japanese baby peaches.
Details: Ozumo will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, until 9:30 Sunday and until 11 Friday-Saturday, with late-night hours in the lounge and beer garden (11:30 p.m. most days and 1 a.m. Friday-Saturday). www.ozumosantanarow.com.
Ozumo joining San Jose’s Santana Row