Is It Any Good?

Another chain of first class Burger Joints in Burbank, and elsewhere.

Umami Burger on Urbanspoon

It’s very funny.  Go Burger in Hollywood, started off as a Truck, expanded into a space in Hollywood, and seems to be happy standing pat.  Whereas Umami keeps expanding and expanding and expanding…

…and they’ve expanded right into Downtown Pasadena Burbank.

Wait a minute.  We’re doing this again?  Didn’t we just do Pasadena like a week ago?

Fine, a couple of months.

This is like Eighteen Locations now.

Seriously?  This is my fifth one.  Don’t I get a T-Shirt or something?

The Umami Restaurant Group (and yes, there is a business by that name) seems to be going to for a hipster theme, with each of their restaurants being designed in a different way.

This one revolves around Dogs.

It’s…bigger than it looks from the outside. Cozy’s another word.

Like all Umami’s, they’ve done the whole individual design thing here again. Because they’ve resurrected the space once occupied by Papoo’s Hot Dog Show, a Burbank Hot Dog joint was here for like a thousand years, the place is black pleather booths, a nice long bar…

The once and former Papoo's Hot Dog Show.

The once and former Papoo’s Hot Dog Show.  This was what it looked like before Umami took over.

…and Doggie photos. Like…everywhere.

But other than that, it’s the same Umami you know and love. The kitchens a bit closer, the crowd’s a bit different, but…still Umami.

Well, it’s their money, because all I’m here for is the burger…and Umami Burbank still serves up a damn fine burger.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  This was supposed to just be a straight copy of the Umami Urban review.  Who knew I’d have to write all new material?  Isn’t there anything I can copy from my last review from a couple years ago?


The trick of Umami Burger is the quality of the meat, as well as the preparation. They also are into this thing about “the fifth taste” which is what Umami actually is. (Heck, I thought it was a type of Japanese beef. What do I know?)

In the end, when they sit you down, you’re going to be served an extraordinary premium burger, which you will pay a premium price for. But its worth it.

WHEW, that’s a relief.  Who says I want to work for a living?


WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Times change.  I rotate from Umami to Umami, but my favorite still the Manly Burger.

Yeah, I know…but when you read the list of ingredients on it: Beer-Cheddar Cheese, Smoked-Salt Onion Strings, Bacon Lardons. I’m not even sure what Bacon Lardons are, but they ware fanastic.

But my beloved Manly Burger wasn’t on the price-fixed menu for Restaurant Week, so I had to go with the Truffle Burger, which is their most popular burger (so I’ve been told).  It’s the burger with garlic aioli, house truffle cheese and a truffle glaze.  And it was really, really, really damn good.  So much so…it might draw my attention away from the Manly Burger.

I also had the Singha Lager, which came with the Price Fixed Menu, and a scoop of Salted Caramel Ice Cream.  That was the only way to fly…though I don’t see the Ice Cream as a part of its regular menu.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Go Burger and Umami Burger are only similar in that they serve high-end, high quality Burgers. But the similarities stop there, as they serve very different papooses. If you’re on a date, I’d probably suggest going to any Umami. It’s quieter, low-key cafe settings makes it ideal for a date. The loudest thing in there is the other patrons enjoying their meals. If you’re out with the boys, or want to hang and watch the game for a minute or two, go to Go Burger, despite their recent menu upgrade.


PARKING: Okay, this is going to be tricky, because I thought you were going to be left to the tender mercies of the Riverside Lotto, but that’s not entirely the case. Umami Burbank actually has…a small lot. It looks about as big as the one at Spitz, and perpetually filled, but you can try.

Actually, no.  Don’t try.  You’re just asking for heartache.

You can also try to park in the residential areas along North Rose Street, but as always, be careful. The Neighbors don’t much like restaurant crowds parking on their nice sleepy streets.

Truth be told, most of the people who are coming here are probably walking. Warner Bros. is nearby, as is the old Disney Channel Building.


Umami Burbank
4300 West Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505

Tel: (818) 433-3680

Daily: 11:00 am-12:00 am