This is a BULLSHIT burger. I don’t want umami in a burger. I want beef, in between 2 simple slices of buns. Don’t want the buns to look like plump lips, especially when turned into a marketing stamp used to portray corporate presence on the take out bag. When I see 2 lips parted, there better be hot honey in between, not a thin slab of tasteless meat.

2 months ago, I found umami gold in the Las Vegas izakaya shack strip mall establishment they call Raku. Those Japanese chefs triple boiled & filtered bonito + kelp, turned it into some of the FINEST gdamn dashi, then used the stock in agedashi. T’was possibly the best dashi I’ll ever have on this side of the Pacific. Drinking that soup made my eyelids flutter and my spine tingle. In April, we visited a burger box where some smart aleck Americans shouted “eureka” at the discovery of the 5th favor in burgers.

Let’s all call bullshit.

In the last 2 years, I’ve stalked burgers from skinny to thick, from Covina to Compton. Never was I so offended by a burger experience as that day. Other places have mangled spectacularly (Taste’s kobe, what a waste of bovine life), some were beyond mediocre (a Yelp-touted joint in Rowland Heights I don’t even want to remember). None tho, pretended to serve food from such a high falutin’ pedestal. If a restaurant predicts clientele’s tongues will taste deep “Japanese” flavor never to be found before in this particular American product, they better deliver, of suffer the wrath.

It’s easy to see through emperor’s new clothes: throw on truffles oil, throw on shittake mushrooms (a quintessential “umami” ingredient”), use “umami ketchup” – while I do not know the “secret” ingredient, safe to assume soy sauce, MSG, dashi stock, etc – add stank cheese. Nary a person comments on the beef. Through the Stilton cheese, I tasted zilch beef in the thinnish overcooked patty.

And yes , these acerbic words cover the triple pork. If I want pulled pork sammie, I’d go to a BBQ shack. If I want a huge loaf of brioche I’ll go to Breadbar. If I want seafood on bread, I’ll go to .. nevermind, I don’t want seafood on bread. Screw the scallop burger. Why serve scallop on buns? Cuz one can’t cook a proper scallop. Why scallop in a burger restaurant? Cuz the burger joint can’t find umami. Let’s not play games. We’re in a recession. 25 Degrees burger & Guiness milkshake FTMFW. Keep your damn $4 ding dongs.

Will never return.

But others love this place:
Alli411 says “it’s so good”.
B+S loves the burger.
Domain 547 declares it clear winner over Wurstkuche.
Foodinista’s early report says “the burgers are great”.
Gourmet Pigs call it savory and full of flavor.
Pleasure Palate loves the burger.
Oiishi’s beautiful pix shows burger looking like.. well.. decaying cow, but still loves the burger.
Mikey Hates Everything didn’t LOVE this place, but still declares it tasty.
Dining on Deals had a “wonderfully delicious evening”.

FINALLY, some who agrees: Infinite Fress team thinks Umami is some kind of disease and would like their calories back.

Umami Burger
Somewhere in Mid Wilshire
Umami Burger on Urbanspoon
Umami Burger in Los Angeles

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