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Hamburger Take Out at Umami Burger on La Brea in Los Angeles, CA,
published on Feb 28, 2011
	Just a few days after GQ named Umami Burger Burger of the Year, I stopped by the La Brea location to have a taste for myself. As it appears, many others thought the same. Driving by the restaurant, I noticed a crowd in front. I saw the sign for $2.50 valet parking so I just kept going down La Brea and finally parked a bit South of Wilshire. It was Sunday and parking was free. This always makes my day. After a two minute walk I was at Umami. There was a hostess in front of the entrance taking people's names and providing basic information.

Rate and Review : Hamburger Take Out at Umami Burger on La Brea in Los Angeles, CA 

I intended to eat at the restaurant, but after learning that the wait exceeds forty five minutes I opted for take out. That was promised not to take more than 15-20 minutes. I walked inside and made my way to the counter. The restaurant appears small and somewhat cramped. Perhaps because it was so packed with customers. At the counter I ordered the Umami Burger, their signature burger and some fries. The day was sunny and warm so waiting outside did not pose an issue. Dedicated parking is virtually non existent for the restaurant. Business that share this mini mall must be overwhelmed by the Umami visitors. I waited around 35 minutes and then decided to inquire about my order. At the counter, they said it was ready .. and it was. Just no one informed me. One thing I noticed on this day. The staff was stressed out. It was busy, some orders were incorrectly fulfilled and that resulted in this uneasy feeling at the place. I did not feel relaxed here. With my take out bag in tow I walked to my car and eagerly looked inside. I first ran into the fries. They were wrapped in a white piece of paper. They were good, but a bit too salty though. Nothing really out of the ordinary. I have had fries like this many times before. The ketchup was great though. Tangy, fresh light and most satisfying. Loved it. The burger had a nice home made appearance. The patty was thick and tasted fresh grilled. Apart from the meat, one finds grilled mushroom, roasted tomato, onions, cheesy crispy wafer and their sauce. The combination was satisfying and unique. It did not taste like a classic burger to me (that we are conditioned to expect). The added ingredients made it like a more complex meal. Not sure if people that are craving just regular burger taste will go for this. I enjoyed it as some originality in the burger world is most welcoming. I expected more from the bun. The soft Portuguese bread did not excite me with its flavor. The entire meal was too salty for me. The saltiness does add a gratifying dimension to the meal but it may be a tad overdone. The excursion cost me ten dollars for the hamburger and three fifty for the fries. All in all, it was a worthwhile visit as my curiosity was satisfied. I am not sure I will visit it again regularly. It is really not convenient for me to wait an hour to be served a hamburger and drive around looking for non-valet parking. It is really good, but multiple spots around town offer, in my opinion, same or better burger experience for similar prices and much less of a wait. If you are tired of hamburgers that are always "same old same old" check out Umami. It may be the right fit for you. Umami La Brea 850 S La Brea Ave Los Angeles, California 90036 (323) 931-3000 Monday Sunday 12pm-11pm http://umamiburger.com


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