Umami Tokyo Curry is Tempe’s new spot for Japanese street food, curry

After being laid off from his job as a chef at the Chicago Japanese restaurant Kamehachi during the pandemic, Nobu Kobayashi set his sights on a new project in Arizona.

Kobayashi has spent most of his 30-plus-year career as a freelance chef, traveling the globe and cooking Japanese food using classic techniques he learned in his native Tokyo. He was supposed to move to Arizona to start a new Japanese restaurant in Prescott, but it didn’t work out.

When that fell through, he changed gears and opened his own shop: Umami Tokyo Curry in Tempe.