The Smash Burger at Umami Burger

About a month ago Umami Burger, a local Los Angeles burger joint, opened up around the corner from me where Cobras & Matadors used to be. I’d been wanting to check out since then, when a few days ago I was alerted by Tasha over at Blackburn and Sweetzer that they started a new Happy Hour special. Between the hours of 3 and 7 PM you can get a Smash Burger, one that’s similar to what you East coasters would find at Shake Shack, plus all of their beers on tap for $4 each. Great deal.

So I walked over and had a seat at the bar, and dug right in. I grabbed an Alagash Black, a satisfying darker beer that had a nice crispness to it. I ordered the Smash Burger as well as some malt liquor tempura onion rings to go along with them. The burger looks kind of small in the photo but it ended up being a perfect portion size. The burger itself is simple, just buns, beef, cheese, caramelized onions and homemade pickles. I’m a big sauce guy, but after sinking my teeth into this burger I realized it wasn’t necessary. The meat was grilled well done on the outside but was quite rare on the inside, leaving the plate dripping with deliciousness. It was honestly one of the best burgers I think I’ve ever had. The onion rings were great as well, nice and crispy all around and the onion was still crunchy enough to bite into. I hate when you get an onion ring, bite into it and the whole onion comes out, leaving you with a deep fried husk.

As I was eating, someone who worked there, maybe a manager, was explaining some of the details that I couldn’t help but overhear. I guess the buns are all hand formed by a local bakery, they make 1000 buns a day and serve just Umami Burger, so you can guess how delicious they tasted. The onions and pickles are all prepared in house. They also have a veggie burger that costs $14, which a lot of people complain about, but what he said is that it takes 3 days to prepare, though I’m not sure what goes into that time period, but it certainly sounded worth it.

All in all I loved my meal, and for $13 I got a delicious burger, a good helping of onion rings and a pint of beer. So if you’re in the mood for a delicious meal I’d suggest hitting up Umami Burger.


October 29, 2009