I’ve always been fond of hamburgers since I was first introduced to a McDonald’s Happy Meal when I was a kid. In fact, I remember the disgusting burgers served at my Junior High School cafeteria and the cheap Tastee Freez burgers that I ordered as an after school snack in High School. Back then, a burger was a simple, inexpensive food that could be found on every street corner or perhaps, found on a barbecue grill in your own backyard. Nowadays, the basic hamburger has evolved, so much so that I love combing the Los Angeles area restaurant scene to eat the best burgers. Umami Burger is one of a few places that I go to for the best burgers in town. Just the other day, I found myself at Umami Burger again this time to catch up with a friend.
When you walk inside, you’ll find that Umami Burger is one of those really cool local restaurants to meet your friends to socialize, eat, and drink. I find it a much better place to enjoy than the typical bar scene, because the burgers are the highlight and the drinks are just the accessory. The menu is pretty simple; a handful of gourmet burgers, a handful of side orders and desserts to choose from, and an eclectic mix of wine, beers, and cocktails to cleanse your greasy palate.
I started with a glass of a 2007 Valdemar Tempanillo wine from Spain. It’s retail value is less than $15 per bottle according to my quick search on the Internet about this wine. It’s packed with the right amount of spice, some plums, and hints of black berries. My friend wanted to try something unique to drink and she was given a small tasting of the wine on draft. Yes, you read it…wine on draft. As it turns out, Umami Burger has a selection of wines on draft poured directly from the tap. The concept is simple, which is to have the perfectly aired out wine. Unfortunately my wine snobbery did not succumb to a glass of draft wine and it didn’t convince my friend either. Draft wine is a light-bodied wine that actually tastes like the wine from a Catholic church. (Oh gosh, I hate to say this but, the wine at church tastes much better than draft wine.) Anyway, I would only recommend a draft wine for a wine novice. As for the rest of us, don’t bother. Stick to the bottled stuff.
The classic Umami Burger was fantastic. 100% beef fresh grinded on the premises. Grilled perfectly to a medium rare (or to your preference) and served with a fried Parmesan cheese round and the earthy caramelized Shitake mushrooms. Each bite is soft and juicy that you can’t help but lick the juices streaming down your fingers. The Port – Stilton Burger is “out of this world” good. It’s served with onions caramelized in port wine for the added touch of sweetness and the pungent, yet creamy Stilton cheese mixes with the grizzle of beef fat. I’ve dined at a couple of Umami Burger restaurants and I’m amazed with the consistency of dining in each restaurant. The high quality of food at Umami Burger has not disappointed me.
I still love the Malted Tempura Onion Rings as it was light and crispy. However, I should have ordered us the Sweet Potato fries instead of the Smushed Potatoes, because my friend and I needed a little sweetness to balance the grizzle from the burgers. After a couple sips of my wine, it was time to chomp into the Pork Belly Burger special. It photographed beautifully on my camera, but I had wondered if it would taste good.
Oh my god! Umami’s Pork Belly Burger was orgasmic! I never had anything like it. What a handful of pork lusciousness! It’s like a magnificent piece of art. It’s too good to be true. I’m in Hog Heaven! Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! Oh! A 100% grilled Pork patty with chunks of grilled pork belly, and a layer of bacon lardon for some depth. This burger left me yelling and screaming uncontrollably for more.
Would I go back to Umami Burger? Yes, I have been. Is my friend going back to Umami Burger? Her answer is yes too. Is the Pork Belly Burger as orgasmic as you describe it? Yes! Food creativity like this is what makes dining out fun. It’s also the very reason why it’s just as fun to comb the streets of Los Angeles to eat the best burgers in town. I tell ya, great food is worth driving a few miles out of your comfort zone. The food at Umami Burger is worth every penny. I’m positive that you will find your dining experience as pleasurable as mine if not more.
Umami Burger has many locations in the greater Los Angeles area. I suggest checking out the their website to find their nearest location.