What is umami, you ask?! It is the fifth tastebud that recognizes savory flavors in foods. Sweet, sour, bitterness, and saltiness are great, but umami is the tastebud that gives you that “oh my god” moment when you eat a steak, or lobster, or in this case, a burger.
I’m a sucker for all things foodie, so obviously, when I heard there was a restaurant in San Francisco called Umami Burger, I knew I had to check it out for myself. A craveable, savory burger spot?! I am all in. This little beauty is known for, you guessed it, the Umami Burger. Parmesan frico, shiitake mushroom, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, Umami ketchup atop an all-beef patty. What’s not to love?! But I digress, I was feeling very adventurous when I visited this little gem a few days ago (and I also don’t eat red meat all that often), so I took a risk and opted for the Ahi Tuna Burger. Seared ahi patty, daikon sprouts, crushed avocado, gingered carrots, wasabi flake, wasabi tartar… Not your normal burger, and definitely plenty of room to royally screw it up, but they rose to the occasion! It was all the pleasures of eating fresh seafood with all the indulgence of eating a hearty burger. Definitely a win for foodie world!
My friend and I split a side of truffle fries which also came highly recommended. Paired with the burgers (and beer, of course), I was taken to that magical umami place that you only dream of in fairytales and steakhouses. I have heard that the Maple Bacon Fries are off the charts, so it looks like I will be making another visit soon to give those bad boys a run for their money.
So where can I get this fantasy burger, you ask? Lucky for you SF’ers, Umami Burger is a chain! With Northern California locations in SoMa, Marina, Oakland, and Palo Alto, you are sure to find a restaurant near you for all of your tastebud needs. And for the rest of you globe-trotters out there, don’t panic yet. There are Umami Burger locations in Southern California, Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York. So, run, don’t walk, to this burger spot. And realize what this fifth-tastebud buzz is all about.