Tuesday, February 2, 2010

no whoa mommy for umami

a friend's belated birthday celebration was a great excuse for me to pimp umami burger on him. after all, it's been blogged and yelped about like a two penny harlot and the feeling that everybody has tried umami except for me made me feel so uncool. luckily, the birthday boy enthusiastically agreed to this selfish plan of mine so all six of us headed towards umami on hollywood (which i believe took the space of the once there cobras y matadors) to celebrate his advancement in age and his flirtations with senility. parking around the area was not too difficult cuz we ate mad early like senior citizens but i can see how tough it might be during prime dining hours. it is los feliz-ish after all so you know how that goes.

once inside, we sat in a near empty dining area. the decor was not at all attractive to me. sure you have hiragana on the walls....and??? i don't read japanese, but i'm guessing this particular wall just instructed us on how to assemble a shelf unit for our walk-in closet.

before i sat down, i already knew that i had to try their namesake burger, the umami burger, but was torn between that and the hatch burger after looking at the menu....thank god for friends with greedy burger eyes because i was able to cut a deal and split both.

here's the umami burger ($9). it is a thick medium rare to rare cooked beef patty that is rather bloody for those of you that like your dead cow really dead. there were no options on how you wanted your burger cooked. in fact, it was more of an "eat-it-like-you-get-it-bitches!" so we did. i think a few of my companions did not enjoy how rare their meat patties were. anyways, the umami burger was topped with shitake mushrooms, grilled onions, and a cheese crisp. the brioche buns added a slight sweetness to your burger bite. although tasty, the umami burger was far from mind blowing.

the hatch burger ($9) was the better burger between the two. although the chiles provided no heat whatsoever, there was a nice earthiness to it which i enjoyed.

damn this meat patty was still mooing!

i also requested the sweet potato fries which came with a light sprinkling of sugar on it. it's not significant enough to alter the savoriness of the sweet po fries, but i can see why folks who have a saltier palate would not enjoy them. dude, i can eat a snickers bar for breakfast so i enjoyed them.

thank god for many hungry mouths because we ordered the thin fries ($3.50), thick fries ($3), as well as the tempura onion rings ($3). ok, ok, and meh. i think if you're really looking for something different, then the sweet po will do the trick. the other fries can be gotten anywhere.

with all that being said, did we ever figure out what "umami" really is ? this elusive fifth taste? the birthday boy thinks it's msg and by golly, he might be onto something. anyways, the meal was tasty, but it did not meet the inflated expectations that the name "umami" carries. i would not stand in a long or short line to get one if i was craving a burger, but if you bought one for me and delivered it to my door, i would totally take it.

Umami Burger
4655 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

price: $$
verdict: tasty, try it.
Umami Burger on Urbanspoon
Umami Burger in Los Angeles


  1. Now, I'm the LAST person that hasn't tried Umami ;-)

  2. Contradicting post? Try it? But you wouldn't wait in even a short line? That's a ringing negative enforcement. Haha! How about just: don't bother :)

  3. I don't think I'd want to try Umami. I'll probably be even more confused than you!

  4. Haven't you ever seen "Iron Chef"? Umami is the equivalent of Savory. There really isn't an accurate English equivalent.

    The burger does look a bit too bloody for my taste. I would really resent not having the ability to decide how well cooked I want my ground beef.

    All of the fries and rings looked good though!!

  5. gas- i have a feeling they will be around for a while...you can postpone as long as you like :0

    chinese man- i can see how it sounds contridicting. i guess what i should really say is that everybody SHOULD try it because of the hype and see for themselves. taste is such a personal thing. personally, it did not meet my expectations, but you my friend literally hate it i think. haha.

    southbay- i'm just easily confused, that's all.

    chasiubow- but does everything savory mean it has umami though? i've tasted some ass-like savory foods and i would NEVER describe that as umami. anyways, here's an interesting link: http://www.umamiinfo.com/what_exactly_is_umami?
    umami, shumami, i like things cooked by my mommy :0


Related Posts with Thumbnails