Umami Burger, one of LA’s most coveted burger chains, exploded in the West Village accumulating crazy lines for those who wanted to know what the hell an Umami burger was. We waited about an hour at lunch time on a Sunday. Not bad compared to those who wait a few hours or those who sleep on the street in front of Dominque Ansel’s shop for a cronut- can’t even talk about that. Anyway, Umami surprised me at the way it looked inside. It was a legit fast food like burger joint almost reminding me of Fuddrucker’s except here they have a waiter take your order at the table here. The entire staff is super friendly and all well-informed about the menu. Service comes out fast. The original Umami Burger is $12 and has their signature parmesan crisp (which really didn’t add much for me), umami ketchup, mushroom and caramelized onions. All of the buns are stamped with a branded “U” that looks like a horseshoe. It’s pretty cute – hey, I liked that part. At first bite, the juices flow, and the outside of the burger tastes crisp with a medium rare filling which I love. I loved the crunchy outside combination with the tender middle.
I was, however, a bit disappointed because I couldn’t even taste or for that matter see any caramelized onions. That to me is what makes me love a specific burger such as Minetta Tavern’s. Half way through this sandwich I kind of got sick of it. It’s SUPER rich and a lot to handle with the thick and fluffy bread. For the meat itself, I loved the way it’s cooked, but over all its just a really heavy burger, and I’m not even talking about the Truffle Burger that is doused in sauce and cheese (4th pic)! At Umami burger, they shower you with different umami sauces to dip and taste, and it’s an easy meal to get in and out. However, Minetta Tavern and Little Prince have my hand in burgers and that’s probably not going to change for a while. I’m not saying I disliked Umami, I’m just not so into it. Sorry Cali, but you still have In “N Out.