Cuisine and scene: Amid no fewer than four establishments serving sushi downtown, Ashland residents and visitors also have their own outlet of Jacksonville's popular Umi Sushi. The restaurant quietly took over the Plaza space formerly occupied by Hana Sushi within a few months of the latter's reopening following a fire. Umi's new Ashland location also puts owner K.J. Nam within a few blocks of family member Ricky Nam's Star Sushi, which has a similar menu.
Recommended: "Umi pizza" layers rice, salmon, snapper and slightly spicy sauces on a sheet of nori to create an unusual, broiled, sort of open-faced maki roll served hot in small squares; tempura-vegetable roll provides a symphony of textures, temperatures and flavors with creamy avocado, tender-crisp, tempura asparagus and cool, snappy cucumber; tempura vegetables' green beans, asparagus, zucchini and slices of winter squash and sweet potatoes all are perfectly cooked with no greasy residue.
Alternative diets: Five vegetarian appetizers; nine veggie rolls; vegetarian bento, curry, yakisoba and udon.
Beverages: Hot and iced teas; fountain sodas; bottled juices and other specialty beverages; awaiting Oregon liquor license to offer wine, beer and sake.
Price range: Appetizers, $4 to $9; salad, $3.50 to $8; sushi, $3 to $20; bento, $11.50 to $20; noodles, $7 to $12; specialities, $7 to $13; sides and add-ons, 50 cents to $2.50;
Extras: Parking on Plaza or along nearby Lithia Park; outdoor seating at a bar built around a tree along Ashland Creek; no checks or American Express cards.
Serving: From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Info: 29 N. Main St., Ashland; 541-201-8898.
— Sarah Lemon