Brian's friends were really nice, and we chatted it up while waiting for our table. And we waited. And waited some more. We eyed the lucky groups of people that had gotten there before us. People were basically camped out there for ages...there were birthday celebrations, big groups of people eating, talking, then ordering SECONDS on their burgers...it got to ridiculous levels. I think we ended up waiting about 2 and a half hours. That was beyond my limit, even for a really hot restaurant, but I guess I really can't blame the restaurant, they just had a lot of people, and not very much space.
Anyways, on to the burgers.
I think this was Brian's burger, he got a Manly burger - beer cheddar cheese, smoked salted onion strings, and bacon lardons. Sorry for the blurriness, we were starving and disjointed at this point. He and I shared our burgers, so we each got a taste. The quality of the meat was very good, the shiny bun encased the ingredients very well. I think the burger was rather small for the price, but I admit I wasn't hungry after eating a full one, so I guess it was satisfying enough. The bacon and onion strings on this one were very nice, added a lot of texture and savoriness (the signature flavor of umami...right?)
This was my burger, the Pork and Stilton burger - blue cheese, pocas port carmelized onions. I actually liked Brian's burger better, I'm glad we agreed to share. It didn't have enough of the poppy flavors that I expected (like a knock your socks off amount of flavorful blue cheese, I think they were rather light handed in the blue cheese generosity department), although I still liked it - again, the quality of the meat was excellent, but I could have used more intense flavors.
This was the truffle burger, and my favorite one that I tried, definitely worthy of an "umami" label. Very savory, deep flavors that stuck with you after you took a bite, and very unique. If I were to go again I would get this burger. Maybe two. Okay I'm a glutton.
Brian's friends insisted to us that their fries were not worth ordering, but I didn't even get a chance to see for myself as they had run out of fries for the night. Oh well. I got the onion rings instead. These were tasty, lots of tempura batter, not too greasy, with their "special" ketchup, I liked it but only about 4 rings for 4 dollars was a little steep for me. I might just rock another burger next time.
Again, I don't blame Umami for the overloaded dining room that night, so I'll be back again at some point, hopefully when they're not so overloaded with other guests.
850 La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036