I Survived Umami Burger
Who doesn't love a good burger? In Los Angeles, when you think of where to get a tasty hamburger, Umami Burger most definitely tops the list of possiblities. Umami Burger is known for their house-ground, hand-formed patties, which are infused with their signature sauce on a slightly sweet, toasted bun. By now you may have come to the realization that I really like food and I can put away a good burger or two, but how do you think I would do with 8? Umami thought it would be a good idea to invite me for a 9 course tasting menu to try out all their signature burgers, sides, and new cocktail offerings. Read on to find out if me saying yes to the opportunity was either the best or stupidest idea I've ever had!This was my before picture. This was me smiling when I thought I could take on 9 courses no problem! So without further adieu! Let's take on the courses! The server brought out Umami's signature house sauces. I can do this. Yes, I can!
Holy crap! You mean there's multiple dishes in each course? My confidence died a little at this point. I went in feeling like I could take on Kobayashi and I was put in my place real quick. All kidding aside, the Cheesy Tots were delicious. It was packed with so much flavor. My favorite house-made sauce was the jalapeño one, which had a really good spicy kick to it. The Tempura Onion Rings also were crispy. I hate finger food that has a very heavy batter and this was great. The best part was the real sugar Mountain Dew. Umami serves sodas with real sugar. I usually don't drink soda, but the real sugar makes a world of difference in taste and it's the only kind of soda I'll drink. Course 2 included Umami's famous Truffle Burger, which is made with a house-made truffle fondue, truffle glaze, truffle salt, and truffle aioli on both buns. It was paired with a Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout, which had a hint of chocolate and caramel flavors and espresso. I love truffle so this was obviously a hit for me. How can you possibly go wrong with truffle? Two thumbs way up!
Bacon, bacon, bacon! Seriously, I would pray to bacon. Bacon is God's (whatever god you believe in) gift to this world. What I loved about the
ManlyBurger Womanly Burger is that it had my favorite things. Umami's ketchup is really refreshing and sweet compared to the typical Heinz ketchup. And how could you say no to bacon and onion strings in one burger? You can't! It's impossible. The fact that my burger was cooked to a perfect and juicy medium rare also just made everything that much better. The Womanly Burger was paired with a Maple Bacon Old Fashion. You wouldn't typically expect that maple syrup and maple bacon would taste delicious as an alcohol, but I knew better. I've had bacon drinks before and let. me. tell. you. It's a must-try!
Wow. I was so surprised. The Ahi Tuna Burger was such a treat. I think of ahi when I think of Hawaiian food or Japanese food. I would have never in a million years thought I could go into an Umami Burger and order a burger that wasn't centered around beef. The seasoning and flavoring on the Ahi Tuna Burger was delectable. The burger was paired with a Victory Golden Monkey, a Belgian style triple with herbal and fruity notes, and a slight spice!
Course 5 was intense. At this point I could barely move. I felt like I need a fork lift. But for you, my readers, I knew I had to keep on keeping on! I love hatch chilies so I knew I was going to love this burger. For those that are unfamiliar, hatch chilies aren't actually spicy. The chilies just add flavor more than anything. The surprise of this course was the Blackberry Swizzle. The drink looked like such a fruity foo-foo drink. Spoiler alert: The drink was strong! Strong in a good way. I was not expecting such a kick! Course 6 included the Greenbird, which is a healthier alternative than the other burgers at Umami. The Greenbird is made of a turkey patty, crushed avocado, green cheese, butter lettuce, sprouts, and green goddess sauce. The burger was paired with a 2013 Laurenz Gruner Veltliner. Although the Greenbird wasn't my favorites personally, I really like that a burger of its kind is available at Umami. I have lots of health conscious friends and it's just good knowing that this along with the Ahi Tuna Burger are other healthier and more unique options they can order as well.
The most surprising drink of the meal was this Spicy Mezcalrita! This was another one of those drinks that has interesting elements that you wouldn't ever think would taste so good together! The serrano peppers were so refreshing. It gave the drink a spicy, tang that I couldn't get enough of! I highly recommend getting this next time you're at Umami Burger. Course 8 was the Throwback Burger. It comes with two 3.5 oz seared beef patties, white cheddar cheese, miso mustard, Umami house ketchup, soy pickles, and minced onions. It was paired with real sugar Pepsi! Again, I love my real sugar sodas. If you drink soda, you need to switch over to these. The real sugar gives the soda very crisp, refreshing taste without the annoying fake sugary taste in regular sodas. Course 9 is the famous Umami Burger. It comes with Parmesan frico, shiitake mushroom, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami house ketchup. All of Umami’s burgers are built upon the concept of umami, or the fifth flavor. The burger is made with a loosely packed beef patty griddled a perfect medium-rare and is placed on a Portuguese-style bun. It was paired with a 2013 Seghesio Zinfandel, which was loaded with aromas of red cherries and had subtler notes of toasted vanilla.
I was so full. I know many of you want me to list my favorite burgers in the order I would order them again so here it is!
1. Truffle Burger
2. Manly Burger
3. Hatch Burger
4. Throwback Burger
5. Ahi Tuna Burger
6. Umami Burger
7. Cali Burger
8. Greenbird Burger
I also made a video to document my journey so make sure to check it out here! There are Umami Burger locations all over so click here to find the nearest one close to you. Did you know they also have two locations in New York?
A big thank you to Umami Burger, Dana Kuritzkes, and Brain Rosman for inviting me in to taste-test the menu. I always end up ordering the same burger and drinks over and over again each time I'm at Umami so I'm so happy I was finally able to get a taste of their extensive menu!