Well let’s see. I can say that I have had my share of good burgers. Some were the huge messy kind, some the simple and delicious kind. I have tried the burgers at Umami Burger a couple of times. I want to like it because so many people say it is so good, but I can honestly say I don’t care for it.
I do like the interior. It reminds me of some kind of underground Japanese sanctuary. The dim lighting and candle light like ambiance gives it a relaxing aura. The Japanese accents and writings hint that you won’t be getting your all American burger here.
So what is umami? It is what the Japanese call, the fifth taste. It was thought that our mouth had only four primary tastes (sour, butter, sweet, salt). Supposedly, umami is the fifth primary taste. It is described as a savory taste.
The burgers at Umami burger are small. One can easily make the mistake to think that these are sliders. Given the small size, I gave it the benefit of the doubt that good things come in small packages. The taste was like no other, I will give it that. It almost tasted like a meatball sandwich with marinara. Come to think of it now, it was interesting. Maybe I was a bit harsh earlier saying that I didn’t care for it. Maybe I am too caught up in the traditional cheese burger that I cannot appreciate it. Whatever it may be, I still stand by my first statement and will look elsewhere for the perfect burger.
We had two of their sides, one I liked, one I did not like. The truffle cheese fries were really delicious. The cheese was melted on top and the aoli on top was great with it. We also ordered the onion rings, which tasted like nothing. The tempura batter on the outside had no taste, and though their umami ketchup was interestingly tasty, it did not save the onion rings. If I had it my way, maybe some kind of soy sauce aoli would have worked well with the onion rings. They could even call it “umami aoli” and people will flock to it. Heck, throw on some “umami” salt on the rings and call it a day.
Why am I being so harsh to Umami Burger? I don’t know. Maybe it is their pretentious attitude towards food? I think it has to be their portions. But in all honesty, I guess that is all part of the experience. Umami Burger is not for everyone I guess.