Plum Reopens as Ume

Update: Ume closed and Plum Bar expanded into that space on 9/10/14

I really enjoyed the creative small plates at Plum when it opened about almost four years ago.  Since then, there have been 7 or 8 other chefs in charge, so the restaurant has gone through a lots of transitions.  Owner Daniel Patterson decided to change the whole concept and closed Plum one week and reopened as Ume the next.

Ume is the Japanese word for Plum, so now they’re serving Japanese-inspired California cuisine.  I met some of food blogger friends for dinner: Brenda of Bites & Bourbon, Ben of Focus, Snap, Eat and Sandy from Foodhoe’s Foraging.  It’s good to go with a group so you can order several dishes and share everything.

photo: Christina Mitchell

photo: Christina Mitchell

We started with the Puffed Brown Rice Crackers with Umami Powder ($5), which were crispy and airy like chicharrones.

photo: Christina Mitchell

photo: Christina Mitchell

Everyone liked the refreshing Tomato Salad with Runner Beans, Miso and Shiso ($10) but the Marinated Salmon with Shio Koji, Yuzu, Turnip ($13) was Brenda’s favorite.  It was a raw, which was unexpected because that detail wasn’t on the menu.  The crudo turned out to be a pleasant surprise because of the bright and clean flavors.

photo: Christina Mitchell

photo: Christina Mitchell

These two dishes were my favorites: the Charred Broccoli with Misonnaise ($8) and the Umeboshi-Glazed Pork Ribs with Pickled Greens ($11), which were crispy on outside, juicy on side and incredibly flavorful.

photo: Christina Mitchell

photo: Christina Mitchell

Unfortunately, there were several problems with the Fried Chicken Ramen ($17).  The broth was one note; the chicken was over cooked; and while the noodles had a nice springy texture, they were overwhelmingly smoky.

photo: Christina Mitchell

photo: Christina Mitchell

By this point in the meal, I was getting full so I can’t really remember the Braised Oxtail with Kimchi, Crispy Potato and Ginger ($17).  But I’m pretty sure they were tasty.  Guess I’ll have to go back to make sure…

9/11/14: Heads up…Ume closed and Plum Bar expanded into that space.

Christina Mitchell

Christina Mitchell

Christina is the founder of East Bay Dish and a social media marketing consultant. If you want to attract more customers with social media, click on my picture 🙂
Christina Mitchell

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  • Jame

    I went tonight. The roasted corn was ridiculously yummy. I got the pork bowl which was tasty as well. And I enjoyed the mochi.

  • eastbaydish

    Nice! Do you like it better than Plum?

  • Jame

    Probably! I am more likely to frequent it than I would have Plum. I only went to Plum a few times for brunch. But it really wasn’t my food. But rice bowls? I am so there! 😀 And Plum Bar is always a winner!

  • That video is awesome. I can’t get over that fan scene. Very nice job on the photos!

  • eastbaydish

    Thanks Brenda. Can’t wait for our next adventure!