Friday, May 14, 2010

Umami Burger - How Fun, Indeed!

Wednesday is the one day that I have a few hours to myself. I try to use the time wisely, balancing things that must be done with things that might make me feel good. A good companion for the fun portion of Wednesday is my sister, Mo.

And how fun indeed! This Wednesday, we remembered that Umami Burger is in my neck of the woods. To lunch we went.

Shame-faced, I admit that I still had not tried Umami Burger. Everyone has been, and most really love it. For me, it hasn't been for lack of desire, just lack of opportunity. Fe takes up a lot of time!

Mo ordered the Manly Burger, which comes with "smoked salt onion strings" (huh?), bacon lardons and beer-cheddar cheese. She threw in french fries to round it out.

Since Mo is a cheese-hater, I didn't get to sample the beer-cheddar. Too bad. Although on second thought, I'd go back and order it exactly the same way. She nailed it. I think cheese would have added an unnecessary mushiness.

The buns at Umami are very soft and the insides are toasted until they are buttery crisp. You don't want to mess with this virtue. It is a great contrast between the softness of the meat and the bun.

I ordered the Kombu #3, which combines The Hatch Burger and onion rings with a pint of Poleeko Gold Ale. Total cost for the Kombu: $16. That is a brilliant deal.

The Hatch Burger -- with its four kinds of green chiles and house cheese -- was delicious. The cheese and aioli were soft and did cancel out a bit of bun crispness. But really, what a tremendously juicy, all-round excellent burger! I was thrilled.

Even more moving were the onion rings. Amazingly crisp. They are fried in a tempura batter using seltzer, I would guess. The result is a ring that shatters between your teeth. These are so decadent, there is no way you could finish a batch on your own.

I also really loved the ketchup. The recipe is a big time secret. I guessed truffle oil. Apparently that's what everyone says -- incorrectly. There has to be some very slow roasted tomato in it, because the flavor is big and round and rich and not too sweet. I also wonder about mushroom. Very umami intensive, actually.

I'm impressed. I cannot wait to take A.

Umami Burger
4655 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90027


Monique said...

I wish I was having a Manly Burger right now!! Delicious!!

Helen said...

Have been meaning to try one of these and after reading your comments I know it has to be soon!