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Umami Burger - Does it live up to the hype?

NY Chowhound here coming to LA for 5 days in April. I have heard a ton of hype about Umami burger and the 5th taste. Does it live up to the hype or is it another bust.

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

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    1. Ouch. Try to disregard the snark. Umami gets LA hound's hackles up and EVERY time you see it in a post, a war is about to begin.
      Personally, I LOVE the Manly Burger at the original La Brea location. I order two (they're smallish) and don't even consider trying the mediocre sides or marinara-tasting ketchup.
      Then again, for every positive review of UB you'll see, there will be another one vehemently railing against it. You're toeing a dividing line in local food politics. Be warned!

      2 Replies
      1. re: jdwdeville

        If you want a manly burger try the Maytag or The Mile High at 26 Beach Restaurant, oh and you will only need to order one!

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        26 Beach
        3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

        Mile High Cafe
        7070 Summit Valley Rd, Hesperia, CA 92345

        1. re: Burger Boy

          BB- I live right near 26 Beach, and go there often for the breakfast burger but UB is a different animal entirely... though I must say you do do a killer job promoting their burgers! (I still need to try the California Roll Burger, btw...)

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          26 Beach
          3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

      2. Oh, everyone on the LA CH board is in absolute agreement on this one... NOT! Just kidding, Everyone on the LA CH board agreeing on ANYTHING would be a sure sign of the apocalypse. Take a look and see for yourself: http://www.chow.com/search?query=umam... Maybe take them to Umami and then over to Father's Office and follow that up with an Apple Pan visit. Then come back and tell the board what you all thought about the long strange burger trip you had...

        9 Replies
        1. re: Servorg

          I would actually like to see that, someone bringing a NYer to Father's Office & Apple Pan. That would be pretty funny : )

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          Apple Pan
          10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

          Father's Office Bar
          1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

          1. re: Phurstluv

            Speaking as an ex-Manhattanite, I'd say FO would probably fail to impress, but Apple Pan has an only-in-LA charm for visiting NYCers.

            1. re: Peripatetic

              Actually, the terrace of the Culver City-adjacent location of FO on a perfect LA evening wouldn't be a let-down, either. The beer selection is great, with amazing Californian beers that are very hard to find in NYC, such as Pliny the Elder.

              1. re: Peripatetic

                Peri - are you arguing with yourself here? Who usually wins? ;-D>

                1. re: Servorg

                  FWIW, neither of us is in any danger of winning an argument with my wife.

                  1. re: Peripatetic

                    Do the two of you share one account? I pray daily my wife never finds out how much time I spend on CH and how often I tease her (tease is a good, not too pejorative word) in my postings.

              2. re: Peripatetic

                I think they'd have choice words for the place when they were turned down for ketchup or a substitution. And I think they'd think we are nuts for thinking Apple Pan was all that.

                1. re: Peripatetic

                  What, the lettuce sandwich? As a former NYer, I was totally bummed by what passed as LA's signature burger from the Apple Pan. The beef is and continues to be an afterthought.

                  FO, Umami and the huge crop of "artisinal" burger joints that have cropped up in LA over the past few years have changed the game. Apple Pan isn't worth the trip, even if you're in the neighborhood. While I'm sure it holds some nostalgia for locals, visitors simply won't get it.

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                  Apple Pan
                  10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                  1. re: JeMange

                    Totally agree about FO and Umami. I think Apple Pan's charm is the overall experience. It's a mistake to expect a lot from the burger. It's more like a time machine to 1940's LA, and -- for better or for worse -- that includes food quality. Sadly it doesn't include price.

            2. had my first Umami today at the Cahuenga location (which is in a very cool shopping space w/ a branch of Hennessy + Ingalls and a pop-up Tom's shoe store).
              we ordered the Umami 6 medium rare, which came out medium raw and was incredibly greasy. I couldn't taste anything beyond the parmesan crisp and tomato. the best thing was the garlic aioli for the thin fries but even that was strangely served on a plastic soup spoon.
              to me it was all hype and a total bust that I don't intend to repeat again.