Just as we Washingtonians were getting over our resentment about losing David Chang to New York City, we now have a whole new hurt to nurse: the runaway success of Umami Burger in Los Angeles, which was launched by former Maryland suburbanite Adam Fleischman.
A Hamburger Today dispatched a writer to twist the knife in our gut. Sample quote from the item:
Adam wanted to recreate that craving he gets for his two favorite burgers: the In-N-Out Double Double, and The Father’s Office burger. He began researching all of the foods that have high umami ratings and decided to see what would happen if he started combining them. What he came up with is both delicious and certainly no facsimile of either of his inspirations.
The author, Damon Gambuto, goes on to gush even further:
When I dig into the Umami burger the force of all of the tastes hit me. The meat is well-seasoned and beautifully cooked and packed. The Parmesan is baked into a tuile and the tomato gets a roasting (upping the umami rating apparently). The onions are caramelized, but Umami resists the browning impulse that foils so many grilled onions. The flavors come together as something entirely “burger” and yet something else. There is a complexity to the flavor that makes this burger eat like an original dish. The commercial, mass produced burger legacy of Post-WWII America is absent, yet it’s still definitively a burger (unlike one if its inspirations, as Nick pointed out)
The roasted tomatoes and the Parmesan tuile are brilliant additions. Both are loaded with umami. I suspect there must be other umami carriers in the burger, too. I really gotta get me one.
Photo courtesy of A Hamburger Today