A Downtown high-end Burger Joint, with a layer of old-school Delicatessen.
Deli food is really old school Eastern European Food. It really shouldn’t be a match with old school Made-In-America Burger Joint, but it does anyway. Why? Because it’s all about the comfort food ethic. One does not dine on Matzo Ball Soup, or a Burger at a Fine Dining and Tablecloth joint. You can do that here.
What I liked most about Umamicatessen is that it’s a lot more spacious, with a lot of Umami’s already patented easy vibe. (I’m all about the easy vibe now). My first experience at Umami was at the Umami Urban location, which was small, comfy and cozy. More like hanging out at someone’s house for a burger, than being at a burger joint.
Then again, that may be because I was on the couch for that first visit.
The two new additions to the Umami Empire have gotten a lot bigger, with a lot more visual splendor. Still, I was just happy to be able to saunter up to the bar and order me some grub. So the addition of Delicatessen gives you some nice options.
But there is a third layer on top of that new layer, which is called P!GG. P!GG is a concept that should make Anthony Bourdian very happy. It is Chef Chris Cosentino’s tribute to all things pork. When he says all things pork, he means it. We’re talking crispy Pig Easy, Ham Plate, and P!GG fries.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, I hadn’t been to an Umami in a while, so the siren call of my favorite burger, the Manly Burger, caught me. But I did try P!GG’s P!GG Style Fries, with picked style peppers, ham puree, and brainaise.
Wait a minute. What was that again? Brain–what?
It’s not béarnaise sauce. Béarnaise sauce is spelled with Bear.
This is Brainaise sauce.
Okay, um…I went to search if on google, hoping like hell I can pull my usual prose trick wherein I reveal that brainaise is not as bad as I feared.
It’s…uhhh….as bad as I fear.
It’s aoili made with pig brain.
Ummm, well….there are Pig Ears on the Menu, as well as lovely looking cured meats on the menu. There’s even an option called Around The World in 8 Hams that caught my attention.
There’s even small plates driven by…(whisper) produce. Like caramelized Brussels sprouts.
Oh, and the Donuts. Definitely do the donuts. I did the Beignets with chocolate dipping sauce. The only thing that was weird was how cold the dipping sauce was. Other than that, paradise!
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: The main thing I can think of its Downtown and not that easy to get to. It’s a good, good distance away from L.A. Live, so if you’re down there for something, and want to eat something…you know…actually good, it’s not a quick walk over there by any means. I have no idea how safe the area is at night, but it you keep your head on a swivel, you’ll be fine. For me, having lived for two years in New York, it was like being back in Grad School.
PARKING: Not…easy. But easy at the same time.
Look you’re not going to find easy street parking anywhere nearby, and it doesn’t look like they do Valet. (Then again, I went on a Saturday Afternoon).
Basically, to get a space you’re going to have to choose from one of the dozens of Parking Lots scattered all over the place. Don’t worry about a map to them, because once you get Downtown, all you’ll see are guys in red jackets pointing you towards them. The lots are reasonably safe, in that there are people watching your car…at least till nine (at the lot I parked at). Prices range form $5 to $10, mostly toward the $5 end of the spectrum. You might have to leave your key with the attendant as they tend to block in vehicles to maximize space.
Yeah, I’m making you feel all kinds of better, aren’t I?
852 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90014
11:30am-12am Fri & Sat