Anaheim InnSider

GASTRO ADVENTURES: UMAMI BURGER

Let’s take a little break from the Parks, shall we? I recently visited Umami Burger’s newest location in Downtown Anaheim, which opened just last week. The word “Umami” is Japanese for savory, which is how they describe all their burgers. There have been many rave reviews about this place but most of their locations are in Los Angeles and I didn’t feel like going all the way out there to get a burger. Since this one was a short 5 minute drive from the hotel, I decided to drop by. 

The restaurant has a really nice atmosphere about it. Umami Burger is located in the Packard Building, named after the car dealership that used to be there many moons ago.

Our server told us a great story about the light fixtures and the designs on the wall. During construction, the workers digging under the building found a stash of old license plates. Instead of throwing them away, the owner decided to use these plates to create some unique pieces that you see below. They already looked cool at first, but knowing the history behind them makes it that much more special.

The ceiling has distressed wood beams that add some character to the place:

You can also dine outside next to the fireplace:

Here are some shots of the menu:

First, the bad part: the burgers are on the pricey side and they do not have a kid’s menu, so the little ones will have to order off the regular menu or possibly go to another burger joint down the street. Also, they can’t change anything off the menu. Each burger is made one way and one way only. A friend of mine just wanted meat, cheese and pickles and they would not do it. Is this not a burger joint? On top of that, the beer wasn’t that cold and the servers brought us the wrong order. So, why would I still bother to tell you guys about this place you ask? Two words: Truffle Burger. We’ll get to that in just a second. First, let’s start with the appetizers. We ordered Smushed Potatoes, which was pretty tasty and the sauce it came with complemented the burgers.

Their signature burger, The Umami Burger, got mixed reviews with my table. Some loved it, others just said it was ok. The parmesan cheese that they put on the burger was first cooked into a thin,crispy wafer that added a unique texture to the burger.

The Ahi Tuna Burger needed a little more wasabi sauce, so ask for extra Wasabi sauce on the side.

Now for the saving grace of my visit, the Truffle Burger! This burger melts in your mouth and it’s so juicy, you have to be careful not to get any on your clothes. This burger alone is worth a repeat visit. My palate is not that refined as to completely describe the experience but let me just say it was absolutely delicious and you have to try it! It looks pretty simple but don’t let it fool you. Their home-made truffle cheese and the aioli spread is simply amazing. I get hungry every time I look at this picture. :)

Despite its shortcomings, I would still come back to this place. I admire the dedication of the restaurant to have all the ingredients, sauces, and buns to be all made in-house. You can definitely tell the difference in how fresh all the ingredients taste. Umami wouldn’t be an everyday treat for most – since it is a little on the pricey side – but if a gourmet burger is what you’re in the mood for, Umami is surely worth a try.

More public reviews here on YELP.

See ya next time!
Umami Tommy

Visiting Disneyland and want the perfect hotel for your family? Look no further than TripAdvisor’s #1 Anaheim hotel for families, the Howard Johnson Hotel and Water Playground! 2012 award winner in the category “Best Large Hotels and Resorts for Families in the United States – 2012

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