About the joint
In San Franciscio, at the corner Webster and union there is a joint. A joint that dreams are made of. This is no ordinary burg joint. It is Umami Burger.
Umami Burger incorporates the Fifth Taste – umami – into their food and its subtle flavour is used to great effect. The mild Asian influence and commitment to top quality makes Umami Burger a must derb.
There are several location throughout LA, but we had the good fortune of derbing at Umami Union, in San Francisco. The dark lighting and liberal use of wood makes for a cozy atmosphere. They have fascinating sides like truffle fries, tater tots. They make their own umami ketchup and process their own cheese. They grind their steak fresh every few hours and cook their burgers medium-rare (or to order).
An absolute commitment to quality. But it doesn't stop there. Umami is also daring in its offerings like a burger with tempura bone marrow. Wow.
Even among gourmet burger joints, Umami Burger excels. It is a true derbist's paradise.
by benjamin on August 2nd, 2012
I was eager to get to Umami Burger. Being from Toronto this was going to be my first international derb since launching Burger Derby. All of what I had read and seen of Umami Burger had me brimming with excitement. What would I order? How would the fifth taste work in a burg? Would it live up to the hype? It was clear from the moment I walked in, this was a quality joint. The decor was fantastic. One thing that really impressed me was the staff. Our waiter, Aaron, seemed to be genuinely excited about the food. That was surely a good omen. I ordered their signature burger – the Umami Burger. It nearly left me speechless. The bun was deliciously spongy. The the umami ketchup was unbelievably savoury . And the patty... perfection. Fresh ground steak cooked medium-rare, it had a depth and richness of flavour that is uncommon. Topped with carmelized onions, a shitake mushroom and a parmesan crisp, all of the ingredients played off each other perfectly. For $11 the price for a burg of this quality is very reasonable, if not an absolute steal. But if I may, for a moment, talk about their ketchup. You wouldn't think ketchup would be note worthy, but their house-made ketchup was simply astounding. It had tones of dried tomato and allspice that are missing from store bought ketchup. And of course the umami flavour added that subtle savoury lift that had me and my fellow derbists considering whether we should steal a bottle. The only down side? That I can't get one whenever I want! I desire more than anything to return to Umami Burger, get a private table, and give another on of their burgs a thorough derbing.