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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Umami burger

On my recent trip to Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to try Umami Burger (reviewed in the LA Weekly by Jonathan Gold - the Robb Walsh of LA). The concept intrigued me; umami is the fifth taste, the flavor of meatiness that emanates from perceiving glutamate, an amino acid. It's why people use MSG, or soy sauce, or anchovies.

Now, the caveat - I am not a big burger fan, although I have resolved this year to be less averse to eating burgers. 

This is one gourmet burger - the signature umami burger costs $9, and doesn't come with fries or green trimmings. The description ascribes six different kinds of umami in the sandwich. I detected a roasted tomato, a shiitake mushroom, grilled onions, and a parmesan crisp, along with the juicy burger itself - but that is only five by my count. The burger itself is cooked medium rare, pinkish, juicy, and I have to admit that the different flavors worked well together. It's a pretty good burger sandwich. The sweet potato chips we got to go with it, however, were lackluster and oily. We didn't feel like investigating the "cakemonkeys" that they had available for dessert. 

My own verdict - it's okay. I don't regret ordering it, but I am not dreaming about it. The anticipation has been slaked. 

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