More of that Umami goodness, this time in Los Feliz.
The Umami empire is expansive. Waaaay expansive. Shot out of a cannon straight to the moon, expansive. In fact, it’s so expansive that I actually lose track of what neighborhoods have an Umami and which ones don’t.
I totally forgot this one was was.
I was going over to Bar Covell (a lovely wine bar, by the way), when I was confronted with the realization that even here, the might Umami Empire has found a home.
And wasn’t this the location of the late, lamented Cobras y Matadors? I think it was.
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!
Yes it does, gentle reader. Yes it does.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Times change. Each branch of the Umami Empire used to have it’s own house Burger. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
Anyway, for my visit here, I went with the Throwback Burger. Which…frankly was created in demand for a “classic burger”. I dunno, I thought the Manly Burger was a pretty classic burger, but the hell do I know? I just write about food every hour in the day.
The Throwback Burger is two Umami Beef Patties, white cheddar, their house made ketchup, miso mustard, soy pickles and minced onions.
And yes, according to one source, the Burger was “inspired” by the Double Double of In and Out Fame.
Umami best be aware. Other restaurants have gotten in trouble for that kind of thinking.
The Throwback Burger is good. Its more than good, it’s straight ahead and direct. The classic burger as done by the minds at Umami. Not a bad way to go. And at the low low price of eight dollars, it’s really not a bad way to go.
Other than that, if you’re int he mood, as I stated above, I still loves me 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 fantastic.
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: Like with Bar Covell, parking along this part of Hollywood Blvd. is a bit difficult. We’re talking either Meters or Valet.
The Meters are a bit of a crap shoot. You’d best get there as close to 6:00 (or whenever the meters expire) in order to snag yourself a space. The longer you wait, the further rand further away from Umami Burger you might find yourself. Which is not too bad. It’s a nice neighborhood, but this part of Hollywood Blvd. is busy and crossing the street to get to the other side might make you feel you’re playing a live action version of Frogger.
Insert Frog joke here.
Short of that, try the Valet in front of Bar Covell. I managed to get myself a Metered space that night, and didn’t get a chance to check the price, but the Valet is there.
Failing both for those…well…you could try the Chase Bank a couple doors down from Bar Covell. After 6pm the branch is closed. I don’t know if the Valet Service is using it, but it serves as a paid lot at night, with one of those unmanned boxes to dump your money into. I’m not sure how it works. I’m not sure who’s minding it. I’m not even sure someone is collecting the money, but…it’s an option.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Parking the main thing about this particular branch of the Umami empire. Other than that, it’s still your basic, low key, easy vibe, high-end, chef prepared Burger joint.
Umami Burger (Los Feliz)
4655 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Tel: (323) 669-3922
Sunday-Thursday: 11:00am – 11:00pm