Five Cheers For The Fifth Taste

I think I was the last person in LA to try Umami Burger. You can hold it against me. I understand. One just opened by my office in the South Bay, so we escaped "campus" today to check it out!

Umami Burger serves a trio of homemade sauces - Diablo Sauce, Jalapeno Ranch and Roasted Garlic Aioli.

The cheese tots, a "secret" item occasionally available, were to-die-for. Essentially cheese-stuffed tater tots, I prefer to refer to them as crack.

The ratio of potato-to-cheese was perfect and the cheese tasted nothing like Velveeta. What I liked most was that the potatoes inside weren't minced little squares, but thicker slices of potato so you could really grasp the potato flavor. Tasted homemade.

I wasn't impressed with the tempura onion rings, which got rave reviews on Yelp. To me, the tempura tasted bland.

The smushed potatoes, dutch yellow creamers, double fried, were delicious. Floundering on a whisp of truffle-infused sauce, the outsides were perfectly crisp and the inside was smushy!

I ordered the Umami Burger with shiitake mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp and umami ketchup. Wow. The burger meat didn't taste like burger meat. The meat was loosely packed and just melted in my mouth. The combination of flavors danced joyfully in my mouth. So sinful. So savory. I can't quite pin the taste of the burger, but I guess you could call it... umami!

Umami Burger. California.

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