OK, I have to confess, I have not stopped dreaming of the Earth Burger at Umami Santa Monica since I had my first one a couple of weeks ago. Dense, moist, deeply satisfying; I’m obsessed. It differs from the other veggie burgers out there. It isn’t rice based like most which leave one feeling like they’ve eaten a cinderblock. Umami’s version is made with edamame and mushroom so it has a meatier texture. Topped with white soy and truffle oil aioli, ricotta, cipollini onions, lettuce, and tomato, this is a burger of legends. You can appreciate the skillful blending of flavors to achieve umami, the fifth or savory taste (after sweet, salty, bitter, sour). Here the truffle oil becomes a player in a symphony flavors, not the usual overuse and the resulting petroleum backnote that ruins many a dish. The sum of the parts blend harmoniously into a mouth-watering whole. And don’t get me started on the indescribably delicious ‘cheesy tots’, house-made tater tots which are crispy on the outside and pillowy-moist on the inside with a hint of cheese. Umami Burger Santa Monica is a magical combination of outstanding food, attentive and speedy service (ask for Kitty), and ocean breeze-fanned patio. What could be better on a balmy summer evening?
Umami Santa Monica @ Fred Segal (and other locations throughout the city)
500 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 451-1300 http://www.umamiburger.com/
Sunday-Thursday 11am to 11pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-12am
Clockwise from top left: Earth Burger, ‘Cheesy Tots’, Tempura Onion Rings