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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Umami Burger

850 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 931-3000

Umami Burger, named after the umami seasoning indigenous to Northern Japan. The restaurant actually imports their umami directly from Japan on a weekly basis and they sprinkle a little on each burger similar to the use of Fleur de Sel in French cuisine. Yep.

$4 Pickles (4)
From top to bottom, hearts of palm, haricots vert, tomato, peaches, cucumber (traditional American pickle), relish.
I wouldn't call it a bad dish, just different. I'm not sure how appetizing it is to start off a meal with a bunch of pickles. The best ones were the peaches and the relish. The others were unambitious.

$9 Umami Burger (10)
Their signature burger topped with oven dried tomatoes, a parmesan crisp, caramelized onions, and shitake mushrooms. The burger was so juicy and tender. Compounded with the attention to detail of the other components, it was truly an amazing creation. It blows 8 oz. away and probably slightly edges out a rare burger at 25 degrees. The juice even oozes into the bun, which some people might find unappealing, I'm not one of those people. And they're right, as I look at the picture, I do crave it.

$3 Side of Fries (2)
How can a place get the burger so right and fail so bad on the fries. It was only good if the comparison is local high school cafeterias. A fry should have an extra crisp texture and these fries were too wide to achieve that desired texture. Plus I'm not a fan of the log cabin replica presentation, I feel like I'm getting ripped off. Most things are better homemade, ketchup is not one of them. I made it at home once and had the same experience, it's too watery. Unfortunately, Heinz has a monopoly on good ketchup.

$1 Side of Sauces (5)
(Clockwise, starting at 1 o'clock) new diablo sauce, thousand island dressing, dijon mustard, roasted garlic aioli, relish
All are homemade except for the dijon. All around nothing special. If I had to choose one, I would go with the aioli.

$4 Peanut Butter Cakewich (7)
The dessert is sourced from Cake Monkey a bakery in Burbank with no storefront as of yet. A yellow cake sandwich with marshmallow & peanut butter cream dipped in milk chocolate. Hard to go wrong with peanut butter, but it didn't taste that much fresher than a store bought ding dong.

I wish them well and continued success with the planned opening of their second location. Because the truth is
I don't plan on going back to try the other burgers, I don't want to ruin the memory I have of this experience. I just can't take that chance.

1 comment:

  1. I have yet to try Umami burger, but I've heard a few good things, and a few not so good things about the place. I'll check it out some time soon.