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“Decent sushi, bad atmosphere”
Review of Umami Moto - CLOSED

Umami Moto
Price range: $15 - $35
Cuisines: Sushi, Asian, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Bar scene, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: Mason St / Wisconsin Ave
Description: Umami Moto embodies Far East elegance infused with modern French nuances that exemplify the best of western world culture. Its name is derived from a Japanese word meaning “savory,” which is precisely what diners can expect at Umami Moto: delectable Asian fusion cuisine destined to deliver satisfaction with every dish. With the addition of Umami’s newly renovated sushi bar, Sushi Chef Israel Cruz has hand crafted a selection unparalleled in the city of Milwaukee. Chef Cruz uses fresh ingredients and an eclectic styling to offer Umami Signature Sushi Plates, a segment of the menu that showcases composed fresh and raw seafood combinations. Umami Moto also offers Main Flavors, a collection of entrees reflecting past Miso Cod and Salmon specialties and new non-seafood options.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

I wanted sushi on the last night my fiance and I were in Milwaukee so I decided on this place.

The only Japanese looking thing about this place is the name. It looked and sounded more like a very trendy nightclub than a sushi joint. I hated it. Perhaps I like my sushi places to be a little more...well, Japanese looking. Or perhaps my plain black clothes and giant "Legend of Zelda" bag didn't quite match up with the style of the place, the wait staff, or the patrons. The hostesses did kind of look at me funny like I were a Hot Topic patron walking into a Banana Republic.

And the sushi bar was all the way in the back almost hidden from view with all the people crowded inside.

The tables were close together like you would see at a McDonalds (excluding the booths). We were seated in-between another couple and a group of four that were obnoxiously loud to the point where you could hear them clearly over the blaring techno music. We couldn't hear each other over the music or the obnoxious and intoxicated people.

The whole menu was just slightly bigger than the book they bring your check in. I found the sushi section to be very limited, but at least they had my favorites: tuna and yellowtail scallion. Those were good, but I have had sushi just as good for about $2-$3 cheaper than what they were charging. In my quest to try a new sushi roll with every new sushi place, I tried their experimental and very nontraditional Tamago Unagi roll (as they really didn't have more traditional sushi that I haven't tried yet). That was extremely delicious, but they give you four pieces and its $10! Also, I ordered shortly before the couple next to us and somehow their extremely large order of four or five different types of sushi, seaweed salad, edamame, and a bottle of sake got to their table before my three sushi rolls got to our table.

If it weren't for the over priced sushi and the crowded, loud, and uninviting trendy atmosphere this would be at least a decent sushi place. But instead I felt awkward and feeling like I was paying too much for the hype.

Thank SamBenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (68)
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31 - 35 of 68 reviews

Reviewed February 26, 2013

I have mixed feelings about Umami Moto. The food was pretty good, and the sliders were spectacular! The Tuna poke was very, very good as well. The atmosphere is a little contrived, and the wait staff seems painfully cool. When I made reservations, the woman on the phone was very pleasant and asked if it was a special occasion - when we sat down each menu had a birthday greeting for my sister - nice touch! However our waiter seemed immediately bored with us and in a hurry. He spoke so quickly we kept having to as him to repeat things. All in all, a nice experience, but not out-of-this world.
I do recommend the Green Buddha and the sliders!

Thank sebsss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Our party of 6 attacked the menu by ordering a boatload of appetizer selections, a soup course [the lobster chowder is fantastic] and all of the entrees and deserts. We were delighted with the visual appeal and taste of every selection. After the meal, I really wanted some espresso and Sambuca, which is not offered by the restaurant. So the waiter went next door to the Carnevor and returned with my espresso and drink. Now that's service!!! Try this restaurant, it's a gem.

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Thank Tom K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

My friend and I arrived a little early for our reservation so we decided to have a drink at the bar prior to dinner. To start, the atmoshere in the restaurant is very modern/contemporary, but still has a wonderful "chill" vibe to it. We sat at the bar and we were greeted by a woman with such a great smile and so much energy you couldn't help but feel happy to speak to her. She was very knowledgeable about wines and saki. I had a wonderful saki that I had never had before and will definitely have again.

We were seated for dinner and our had an equally positive attitude, but much more low key. It was like the "chill" atmosphere was contagious. The menu has some traditional sushi items, but many are prepared in unique ways. A number of items are small plate style and my friend and I wanted to be adventurous, but also wanted to make sure we didn't order too much or not enough. Our server was extremely helpful and guided us thru what turned out to be one of my best sushi experiences.

I will definitely return!

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1  Thank Amy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

The menu items are just fun to eat. Sushi and rolls has to be the best in town...they have great bartenders - fun staff to bother - including the manager. The whole place is tastefully decorated in a contemporary design. The wine selection is nice and the server or manager always has good advise for it. Yo ucan go there for business or for a date - this is a great place !

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Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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