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Umami Burger, Studio City

Went there this afternoon for lunch. I had been to Umami before, on S. La Brea, and thought it just ordinary, but this is very convenient for me, very close to The Counter, so I could compare the two, I ordered the Umami Burger medium rare, with Tempura Coated onion rings, and iced tea. The service is a little slow, and they do not accommodate individual desires. All you can do is delete an item on their set burgers. When my burger came, I was wondering how I could get it into my mouth, because the wonderful roll was domed pretty high, but I managed. My first bite was a revelation. The burger was juicy, tasty, prepared just right, and all the toppings complimented each other. The onion rings were a good side for the burger, and the iced tea was much better than the usual seen in LA. I was very pleased to eat there, consider it much better than The Counter, and much better than my previous experience on S. La Brea You all should give it a try.

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Umami Burger
850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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  1. 12159 Ventura Blvd, Studio City

    1 Reply
    1. re: pizzafreak

      Place Link Here

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      Umami Burger
      12159 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

    2. <<they do not accommodate individual desires>> Exactly what does this mean? Can I order it rare with grilled onions, cheese and mayo or whatever dressing they use?

      1 Reply
      1. re: mucho gordo

        No, they won't let you create your own burger. They have a set list of maybe 10 different burgers, and all you can do is delete whatever toppings on that particular burger you don't want. I originally wanted a med rare burger, Amer. Ch, grilled onions, and was told no. I wound up choosing the Umami burger, and it was a good choice. It has their version of cheese on it, and some other stuff the particulars of which I have forgotten.I didn't use Ketchup or mayo or mustard, all of which they offer on the side because I wanted to taste the meat. My report, I hope, speaks for itself

      2. Thanks for the review. I live in the Valley too, so I think I'll stop by and try it out. I had the Counter on Wilshire by the La Brea Tar Pits tonight and was pretty pleased with it.

        1. I have never eaten there, but I intended to try the Triple Pork Burger someday. Does anyone know why they dropped it?

          7 Replies
          1. re: Dogbite Williams

            I think they still have the TPB at various locations (Santa Monica where I go still has it AFAIK). They seem to think that varying their menu for the perceived tastes of the local populace makes sense. So you probably aren't finding the TBP at the Studio City location - at least as far as the regular menu is concerned. I am sure that the original site on La Brea still has it too.

            1. re: Dogbite Williams

              A quick glance at all of their menus by location show that it is officially ONLY at the La Brea location. Not on the menu at any other branch.

              I have only eaten at the La Brea and Los Feliz locations and I have never personally seen it at the LF location.

              At the same time it has been consistently "sold out" at the LB location. I have never had it. I doubt that I will be eating at the original location any way as the have dreaded valets in the dinky parking lot.

              1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                As I posted to Dogbite - I see it at the Santa Monica location as well as the La Brea store: http://umamiburger.com/menu/#2Santa_M...

                1. re: Servorg

                  Duly noted.

                  Have you ever had it at either location? As I mentioned it is always "sold out" on La Brea. But it may just be the time I manage to get there.

                  1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                    It's my "go to" burger at the SM location (my local Umami). It has a wonderful, bold and spicy back note with the chorizo and the pork is excellent, juicy and tangy in its porkyness...

                    1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                      I have seen it on the menu at Hollywood Blvd. in Los Feliz (didn't have it, though).

                      I think they rotate their specials, although I have no idea if there's a predictable pattern.

                  2. re: SilverlakeGirl

                    Thanks for that info. I work in West Hollywood, so I'll probably head to the La Brea location one of these days.

                2. I can't wait to try Umami, but not being a beef eater....has anyone tried "The GreenBird" (turkey burger)?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: GK in SO

                    Just had the Greenbird yesterday in Los Feliz. It's delicious. Also they have an off menu turkey burger called the Spicy bird. It has a diablo sauce on.

                  2. I love their lamb burger. They run it as a special and don't always have it, but boy is it good.

                    1. Heads up--judging by the crowd last Saturday night spilling out onto the sidewalk, be prepared for a long wait.

                      1. Went last night. I wanted the truffle burger but at 8pm they said they were sold out of it. I opted for the port and stilton instead. Very tasty, perfectly medium rare with a nice crust. Here is the ODD thing though. I was seated at the bar and asked the bartender to give me some description or background on the three red wines they offered. They were out of one and of the other two she knew nothing but offered me a taste. Then i asked about one of the burgers and her reply was, "I don't eat red meat." The service was fine and the burger tasty but I thought this sort of uninformed opinion has no place in an establishment that just opened.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: orythedog

                          "Then i asked about one of the burgers and her reply was, "I don't eat red meat."

                          Okay, *that* is funny! (Not to mention par-for-the-course for Umami, service-wise.)

                        2. Food is fine, but not worth the hour-plus Saturday night wait. Once inside, the service was slow and careless-- it took about 25 minutes for me to get the beer I ordered (it arrived with the meal while my dining partners' drinks had already arrived). Drink orders were confused (I ordered a second and received the wrong one, while one companion never ordered a second but received one anyway).

                          I enjoyed the food but I certainly would avoid this location on a busy Saturday night. Not worth the effort.

                          1. We tried this place for lunch today. OK, the party wasn't your typical group. 5 seniors, 4 being of the immigrant Japanese community. We're chalking this up to experience with no intention of returning.

                            To start out, the decor seems like they're trying too hard. Chandelier-looking wall sconce thingies, big high-back roll-around chairs (that didn't lend much back support). Like that. Noise level was obtrusive, maybe that appeals to the tat-and-piercing brigade, but not so to us.

                            Service might have been the high point. The server was pleasant and knowledgeable. Our order came out in a reasonable time.

                            Food? Well, high-concept burgers just must not be my thing. I had the port and stilton, and the cheese overwhelmed the flavor of the beef. I wanted the lamb, but it wasn't available at this location, nor the pork. The bun was puffy but insubstantial. Everybody else had the Umami, maybe because of the Japanese name. I shared one, and thought it was a tad bland, but a tad of their mustard perked it up. BTW, no soupspoons of condiments, 3 small dishes on a tray with mustard, ketchup, and mayo. Onion rings were good. Sweet potato fries? 5 of us didn't finish one order. Just not to our taste, not bad per se.

                            Mme. Akitist left comparing the place to the Lazy Ox, which she works near. "Same kind of food and too noisy also".

                            Don't want to dissuade anyone from going to this place, but it certainly isn't for everybody.

                            1. I tried to go, I was willing to put up with the 15 minute wait, but could not stand the volume of the music so I passed and went to IN/Out! Lousy burger, but at least I did not damage my eardrums!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: JohnnyT

                                Thanks for the info. I HATE loud music; for me it's an absolute ambiance killer.