Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Umami Burger

Umami is defined as, "a pleasant savoury taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides, including inosinate and guanylate, which occur naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products."

Last night we dined at the La Brea Umami Burger in Los Angeles.  Umami Burger serves a plethora of different flavor-themed sandwiches.

For this tasting I was accompanied by my fellow burger-eater, Michael, and an authentic Hamburger, Lisa (see post).  I'll be posting these esteemed individuals' reviews before declaring my own:

Michael -
Always a conservative, I went for the classic Umami burger. A rich, greasy patty topped with a parmesan crisp, roasted tomato, shiitake mushrooms and onion. It definitely lived up to the reputation as a great new burger in town, but I have to say, for all this hype about being "the newly discovered sixth flavor" or whatever Umami is, it just tasted like a good burger with good toppings. Supposedly, the roasted vegetable heightens one's awareness of that umami taste, but even that didn't do much. The homemade ketchup was interesting (in a good way), but the side dishes (both the fries and the "tempura" onion rings) were inexcusably bland. 

Lisa the "Hamburger" - 
The hamburger that spoke to me on the menu was the "Hatch Burger." It 
was prepared medium rare (as all burgers should be), with cheese and 
four different types of chiles. All the flavors were right on point, 
I just wish it would have been a little spicy. Otherwise there were 
no complaints about this burger. It was definitely my favorite among 
to the Umami, Truffle, and Casablanca burgers. As for the fries and 
onion rings, I'm going to have to disagree with MIchael. Because the 
burgers already have so much going on, I don't think the fries and 
onion rings need much seasoning.


Umami Burger (pictured above)

We ordered four burgers total and ended up splitting all of them, taking short breaks in between each bite.  

I'll be reviewing these burgers individually instead of placing a blanket rating on the entire establishment.

Umami Burger: A smooth texture and refreshing flavor makes this burger a good place to start (if trying more than one variation).  The grilled onions, fried Parmesan cheese, grilled shiitake mushrooms and an oven dried tomato may make this burger the "standard" at Umami, but it stands out when comparing the sandwich to the rest of the burger world.
  • The Burger Eater's Rating: 8
Hatch Burger: This one is great. It offers just the right amount of spicy (cooked with 4 different types of green chilies). As with all the burgers at Umami, the quality of ingredients is superb.

  • The Burger Eater's Rating: 9.5
Casablanca Burger: Ingredients include a lamb patty, pickled apricots, and pomegranate aioli. The taste of the lamb was a nice change, but not what you're looking for to fulfill serious burger cravings.

  • The Burger Eater's Rating: 7 (more points were granted for variation of ingredients)
Truffle Burger: The Italian truffle cheese and truffle glaze set this one apart. I'm a big fan of almost anything truffle, so I was excited for this one.  I was a bit disappointed that the truffle flavor didn't stand out as much as I expected.  Nonetheless, the burger was tasty and the texture was great.

  • The Burger Eater's Rating: 8 

Here are some images of the burgers.

No comments:

Post a Comment