Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Mar 8, 2012 10:27 AM

UMAMIcatessen - Thoughts?!

Surprised this thread hasn't been started yet!

Checked it out last night after work! Longish wait, but to be expected for an anticipated spot. The cocktails are the bar were delish and service was attentive. We had the Black Jack (really yum and could be dangerous as it was strong but sweet!), the pig whiskey thing (was aiiight) and the Urban Trader (could have been mixed better of all ingrediants).

Finally after 30 min or so, we were seated. Waitstaff was lovely and menu was familiar on the Umami Burger section (which I was thinking there'd be something different). It's funny to me that there is a "kosher" Jewish Deli section and then a pork-centric menu! All 3 food menus offered a variety of selections without being too overwhelming. I do however wish there was a lil bit more veggie options, as it was very meat and startch/fried/carb heavy with only a few salads.

We ordered the crispy pig ears (good but nothing amazing), mini potatos knishes (yummy morsels but again, nothing that blew my mind), pastrami burger (yum--want to try just the pastrami sammich next), manly burger, and the tempura onion rings amongst 3 people. Dessert was the beignets and they were not good (pout).

Would I go back? YES! Sure. Would I go out of my way for it? Naaaaaaa.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Anyone know what the lunch wait is like?

    1 Reply
    1. re: sku

      There's no wait at lunch, the place is cavernous.

    2. Loved the Foie doughnut and the Cortado from the espresso section. When I went there the pig ears weren't that great either, although Idid like the pork rilletts.

      1. We had tickets for a show at the Orpheum on Saturday night.

        Arrived at Umamicatessen (UC for short) at about 7pm. The wait, we were told, would be 45 minutes. Our didn't need to be in our seats until 9pm so we opted to wait. It helped that a single seat opened up at the bar so my wife sat down, ordered a very good Cape Cod, and we got some FRIED PIG EARS while we waited.

        Those were good; I'd say as good as any other ones I've had in the city. My wife liked them better than the ones at Lazy Ox. They're cut a lot thinner and at $7, it's not exactly as cheap as an order of fries but they're generous on the amount. The "brainaise" sauce (brain + mayo) was fine; very citrusy which seemed to go over well with the saltiness of the pig ears.

        One bad note: the bartender, despite making a good Cape Cod, assumed the small group of people standing behind us were "with us" and so he put all our orders on a single tab. The only thing we had in common - besides geographic proximity - was that we were all Asian.

        Don't racially profile me, bro.

        (Disentangling the checks proved to be a minor headache, to boot.)

        Anyways, our table came ready after about 35-40 minutes. We ordered:
        •BEET SALAD (which was really more of an arugla salad with truffled ricotta and these very tasty bits of fried almonds. Liked this one a lot)
        •UMAMI BURGER (tasty but not to start up this old fight: not better than Father's Office. Not by a longshot).
        •PASTRAMI ON RYE (based on JGold's "it would keep the Langer's folks up at night" recommendation) but here's the weird thing. The sandwich I got was spiced like pastrami but it also looked and tasted like...ham. That bugged me out for most of dinner. I'm sure I was wrong but it was some cognitive dissonance going on with that. It was decent but not remotely in the same orbit as Langer's)

        We were seated right by the ham-o-vator and it was tempting to want to order a sampling but at $25 a pop, we shied away. I like cured meats a lot but that felt too rich for our blood.

        I will say this: food was PROMPT. Our burgers were out within what felt like less than 10 minutes after being ordered. Got to the Orpheum with time to spare.

        Overall, besides the unfortunate bar incident, I liked the meal. I'd totally go back there again...if I had another show at the Orpheum. But otherwise, I don't know how badly I'd want to trek down to DTLA to eat a meal there again.

        1 Reply
        1. re: odub

          I really like that beet salad too. It feels weird to go to this meat extravaganza and order something vegetarian, but it's really good!

        2. only hearing 2 things said about this place

          1. their fois donuts are amazing (gone soon with ban…then what?)
          2. i wish i went to animal

          i wanna try it but… i dont wanna say #2 and be bummed after…scared!

          1. I went a couple of weeks ago and loved everything I had off the Pigg menu. The highlight, though, was the pork liver pate sandwich. Served on a ciabatta roll, the liver was rich and juicy, shimmering with fat, more like a lobe of porky foie gras than a typical liver pate. The arugula and caramelized onions offered just enough sweet and acid to cut the fat.

            The Umami menu is just a regular Umami burger and I didn't try the deli menu. As to the doughnuts, the foie doughnut is good for one bite, but not much more. I preferred the Tres Leches Cajeta doughnut.

            Still, I definitely liked this place enough to go back, and now with the JGold review, I'm curious about the deli stuff.