Burgers are one of our favorite foods, but due to a restrictive diet we were placed on before vacation, red meat was completely off limits. In Las Vegas we had to skip Bochi Burger, and even though we have been following their twitter page for months, we couldn't visit Fukuburger. We did hit up In-N-Out Burger in Barstow, but to be fair it was the best of all the fast food choices along that stretch of highway. After a week of being so good with our diets, it was the mushroom and edamame patty at Umami Burger that peaked our interest to make a special trip down to the burger chain's new food emporium concept Umamicatessan in downtown LA. Designed by restauranteur Adam Fleischman the food emporium incorporates 4 separate menus in one space.
We glanced at the whole menu, but we were here for the burgers, so we placed our order and enthusiastically waited for our lunch to arrive. We had spent the previous night at LA weekly event Low End Theory and was starting our day off later than usual. We definitely needed some hydration and caffeine. The green iced tea and lemonade absolutely hit the spot. We're shocked that we haven't had a proper green tea iced tea yet because it was so good. We mixed it with lemonade and called it a Green Arnold.
Since the burgers don't come with sides (tragic), we decided to place an order for their seasonal asian pear coleslaw ($4) and potato knishes. The coleslaw was crunchy, light and refreshing, just what we wanted to get our digestion started for the day. The knishes were not what we were expecting, simply because the table next to ours had what looked like adult-super-sized tater tots, that's what we thought we were getting, but these doughy potato balls arrived, along with the yummiest grain mustard. One taste of the mustard and we quickly divided the portion into 4 so we could equally spread it on the doughy and comforting knishes. If this is what a potato knish is, we're sold!
Our burgers arrived as we were finishing up the coleslaw and knishes. My umami burger ($11) with shitake mushrooms, caramelized onions, slow-roasted tomato, parmesan crisp and umami ketchup was the ultimate in umami flavors, as mushrooms, caramelized onions, tomato paste and parmesan are all considered umami foods or the savory taste. To be honest the burger was a bit over powered by the umami ketchup and slow-roasted tomato. When we deconstructed the burger in order to try the meat, it was absolutely delicious, but what made the burger was the cute little buns that are stamped the Umami burger U Logo.
Even though the mushroom and edamame patty was what drew us in, Mike decided to try their shrimp burger with yuzu kosho ($13). The wild shrimp patty was perfectly pressed and seasoned. Served with yuzu-kosho seaweed salad, this burger had it going on and we thoroughly enjoyed the sea-inspired take on a burger.
Umamicatssan is the only location that also serves fried to order donuts. We were tempted to try a dessert, but donuts and ice cream are probably our two least favorite desserts, but the menu was really tempting. Porc phat or gin & juice ice cream anyone?
Was Umami Burger the best we've had? No, but the burgers were pretty darn good. We will say we really liked the restaurant food emporium concept and the space was really nice. We would like to dine at the Residency's rotating chef series. We hear the reservations for this weekly event sells out fast. Also the curing elevator at PIGG was absolutely fascinating. We were seated right next to it and was fun to watch all the cured meats go up and down.
852 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90014