Is It Any Good?

Another chain of first class Burger Joints at the Grove, and apparently everywhere else.

Umami Burger on Urbanspoon
Umami The Grove on Foodio54

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 the Umami Empire keeps expanding and expanding and expanding…

…and they’ve expanded right into Pasadenaerrr, I mean the Grove.

Okay, a straight copy and paste job isn’t going to save me here.

The Umami Restaurant Group (and yes, there is a business by that name) seems to be going to for the hipster audience, with each of their restaurants being designed in a different way. The Grove’s went for a pretty clean, neat trying-to-be-cooler-than-cool….wood block thing going on?

Ahhh, what the hell do I know? I sat outside.

Umami The Grove is still the same fine burger you’ve come to expect of all their other outlets. But I’m getting ahead of myself. This posting was supposed to just be a straight copy of the Umami Pasadena, which itself was a copy of the Umami Urban review. Once again, I’m writing 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.

Copy and paste saves me again!


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 we need to evolve from time to time, and try new things. We can’t always have the Manly Burger, 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.

The Grove serves an even…what? Cheesier version of the Truffle Burger, aka the Truffle Royale. I didn’t get much of a difference. I enjoyed them both.


PARKING: This is going to sound weird, but…it’s Los Angeles. How could it not, right?

When you hang out at the Grove, remember you are shopping one of two distinct shopping areas: The Grove and the Farmer’s Market. The two do not always get along, and can make parking validation for customers confusing.

Umami the Grove is part of the Grove. You can park in their structure, and get validation there…or the movies, or at the Barnes and Noble. The Farmer’s Market is a separate entity, containing places like The Gumbo Pot, Mousier Marcel, Whisper Lounge, Mixology 101 and Ulysses Voyage. You can’t get validation there for the Grove Parking Structure.

And the fact that the Grove is putting a Premium Parking Plan in there? Yeah, not making it easier.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Go Burger and Umami The Grove 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.


Umami The Grove
189 The Grove Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tel: (323) 954-8626

Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 am-11:00 pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:00 am-12:00 am