New Japanese restaurant opens across from school

Umami Ballard brings students an easily accessible, but not easily affordable lunch option


Josie Fitzpatrick

Umami provides a tasty yet expensive lunch options for hungry students. With a variety of options, the restaurant still fails to attract as many lunchgoers as its competitors.

Penelope Neireiter, Staff Reporter

Recognized for its Japanese-fusion cuisine, Umami Ballard is a new restaurant on the corner of 15th Avenue. Looking at the menu, there is an array of options. Some examples include making your own poke bowl, boba and ramen.

The poke bowl is $14.95, teas range from $5-$9, and sides come in around $6.95. With these prices, the restaurant scares away most high school students who are looking for a good affordable lunch. Nonetheless, you are getting what you pay for, leaving students happy and full.

The place is a little corner shop with limited room inside making it a subpar spot to come for a large gathering or sit-down meal. Instead, it is an easy grab-and-go option for lunch or dinner. 

As you walk in, there is little décor or personal touches to make it unique from competition just down the street. The smell of frying oil and rice fills the air, accompanied by the sounds of sizzling and side chatter.

As you order, there are many different options to choose from. I recommend the option of building your own poke bowl. This allows you to get two sources of protein, three toppings, and a sauce. There is a variety of seafood on the menu. However, if the fishy flavor is not for you, there are many other choices, including chicken, pork, or tofu.

Apart from the person working the cash register, there is only one person working in the kitchen. This seems like it would take the entirety of our extended lunch period but it is a surprisingly quick process, with the time between ordering and getting your food taking about five minutes.

At lunch, students that go off campus tend to go to businesses that are close and efficient. Some include MOD Pizza, Taco Del Mar, Ballard Pho & Teriyaki, and Taco Bell. Umami is the closest of them all, but the least full at lunchtime.

Seeing how empty it is inside the restaurant at lunch has me wondering if a restaurant more specifically intended for high school students should have gone in that spot on the corner.

Even still, the restaurant is a sweet treat for hungry students. Just a short walk from school, the good quality food will surely leave you full. With the variety of different options to eat from picky to extravagant, this new restaurant is an exciting asset for our community.