Is It Any Good?

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

Umami Burger on Urbanspoon
Umami Pasadena 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 Umami keeps expanding and expanding and expanding…

…and they’ve expanded right into Downtown Pasadena.

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.  Pasadena’s has an super-spottless, hyper-clean, trying-to-be-cooler-than-cool Japanese thing going on.

Well, it’s their money, because all I’m here for is the burger…and Umami Pasadena 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?

Also, as noted in this space, Umami Pasadena participated big time in Pasadena Restaurant Week.  A good time was had by all.


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.


PARKING: Consult our Pasadena Parking Map.  To me, you’re better off Parking at the Schoolhouse Parking Structure off Raymond, crossing Colorado and like…within two doors you’re there.  If you get in and out within 90 minutes, parking will be free.


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.


Umami Pasadena
49 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91105

Tel: (626) 799-8626

Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:00 am – 12:00am