Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Recon: UMAMI La Brea

Los Angeles, CA

Last week a friend of mine had a show at the Comedy Union, and I jumped at the opportunity to hit up the Umami on La Brea- because each menu is a little different, and every time I have a different burg. The Canuck and I were in a rush though, and told our server we had half an hour, was it doable?  And great success, more than doable.  

The Canuck ordered the Triple Pork Burger which consists of pork, chorizo, and applewood smoked bacon all ground together in the patty, with manchego cheese, pimento aioli, lettuce and tomato. I opted for the Port & Stilton burg which has bleu cheese and port-caramelized onions, and nothing else. I was about to ask for skinny fries when the server told me they had truffle fries with a truffle cheese on top, I said stop, you had me at the word truffle. Now I'd like to point out that there is a truffle burger on the menu, but for some mysterious reason I hadn't ordered it, and with the truffle fries it would have been overload anyway.  

Food came out quick as requested, and it was heavenly. Some of you weaklings might be saying, 'port, bleu cheese and truffles? too rich!' but no, my friends, it was fantastic and the saltiness of the truffles complimented the sweet port onions. I really enjoyed the simplicity of this burger. (Above) The Canuck's burger tasted like a spoonful of hearty chili, I kid you not. [Note to self: use pimento peppers next time you make chili.] It was the oddest thing to take a bite of burg, but then be chewing straight chili. (Below) We both liked my burg a little better so we cut them in half and shared, because we're nice people like that. What I also love about Umami is that the buns are just a little sweet, which counteracts the savory elements of the burg. Bleu cheese wasn't overwhelming, the meat is high quality- soft and filled with juicy flavor, but sog factor is still an issue. The bottom bun soaks up all the burger juice, which in theory is tasty, but a little gooey. Oh, and the branded bun was a nice, new touch.

The truffle fries with truffle cheese can only be described as rich, buttery goodness.  (Served with Umami ketchup)

As far as setting goes, I liked their operation. Valet was only $2.50, and a hostess greeted us as we stepped out of the car. She sat us on the back patio which had heat lamps and lights strung above us. It was a little crowded out there, but I imagine the crowd only builds the energy on a busy night.

Every time I visit Umami, I like it a little more. Damn, I'm starving... I really need to stop writing reviews at 9am....

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