Umami is a Japanese word that describes the pleasant and savory taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides that occur naturally in foods. At least that’s how Chef Adam Fleischman describes it on the website of his Umami Burger chain.
Science aside, he is turning the fast-food dining concept into an art form. Even the top bun is branded with a signature U, lest you forget into what you’re about to bite.
The only thing fast-food about this restaurant chain, which we tried in Santa Monica, California, is how it has found a way to mainline optimum flavor for ultimate sensory satisfaction. Umami Burger doesn’t even leave the ketchup to chance. It’s homemade.
The menu reads like a fine restaurant with ingredients such as house-made truffle cheese, port-carmelized onions, roasted tomatoes, parmesan crisps and white soy aioli.
This isn’t your daddy’s chargrilled burger. Instead, it is a classed-up classic to be appreciated for its finer flavors.