REVIEW: Umami Bistro – So many better choices in Catonsville


Yup, that’s one of the rare “Thumbs Down!” that you’ll find in DiningOUT in Baltimore restaurant reviews!    I’m going to be thinking twice – if not three or four times! – before returning to Umami Bistro.  There are just so many better places to eat in “downtown” Catonsville – many within a quick walk of Umami – that offer so much better food and better service.

To start with, we waited 40+ minutes after ordering without getting our food or with no word from the staff (who were standing behind the counter 4 foot from us!) to us about why our order was so delayed.   There were 3 other tables tables waiting for something to eat who were equally frustrated with the unexplained delay.

We order some Tabouli ($5) for an appetizer. When it arrived, we were surprised to find that it was more like Tabouli SOUP than a salad – there was as much “dressing” as ingredients and parsley – a prime ingredient in Tabouli – seemed minimal. I’ve never encountered Tabouli like this (and hope I never do again!)

When the food did arrive, it was disappointing – My lamb gyro sandwich ($7) had two – just two – of the thinnest slices of gyro meat that I’ve ever had in a gyro.

There is a large poster by the counter promoting and highly praising the restaurant and its chef.  After our experience, it dawned on me that that the three quotes which praised and raved about the chef and the food were only identified by initials.   I left  Unami totally convinced that the quotes on the poster were probably from the chef, his family and his investors.

As alternatives, I’d recommend and suggest the Sprout Natural Choice restaurant that just opened in 2014/July and is less than 50 steps to the east of Umami  Or  Chef Paolino which is about 200 steps behind Umami.

Umami global bistro on Urbanspoon


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