Bring on the Spring Joy!
I tried Umami for the first time about two months ago, and my initial impression of it was less than perfect. I went on a Twitter rant about it, in fact, in some make-shift attempt to start a burger war between Slater’s 50/50, Umami, and The Counter. #Fail. It was all in good sport though, sort of like Kendrick Lamar’s verse on “Control.” I tried the B-U-B Burger, and it reminded me of a Ted’s Restaurant steam burger in New Haven, CT, but a Ted’s burger it was not.
I got wind of the new Spring menu which launched about two weeks ago, and took a glance at it. I was intrigued, the Caprese Salad captured my attention immediately due to my long-loving relationship with Caprese Salads, particularly the one at Maggiano’s. Being as carnivorous as I am, it is a wonder that a salad would interest me at all. Carrying-on, I emailed my lady, and turns out she was all too eager to grab a bite. Her first experience with Umami was Michael Voltaggio’s The Monte Carlo Burger. Lucky gal, I only had a small bite of it, and it was amazing.
This trip would turn out to be special because I decided to host my first Tastemade show. Upon arriving, we were seated, and the menu was presented and explained to us. We tried everything: the Caprese Salad, the Avocado Toast, the Caprese Burger [both varieties: beef and mushroom], the Springbird, and lastly the Arnie Palmer Bowl dessert treat.
The featured entrée, The Caprese Burger (Portobello Cap), is a great burger for vegetarians or healthier eaters. It features a roasted portobello cap, basil almond pesto, burrata, a large and juicy heirloom tomato, wild baby arugula and truffled balsamic glaze. I did not finish this one, and my lady did not try it. It is a great burger, but not for us. She does not eat mushrooms, and I just was not fond of it. We were privileged to split the Beef variant of The Caprese Burger, which is a different burger-beast entirely. The meat was medium rare, moist, and carried the flavor of perfectly cooked, and mildly seasoned [if at all] beef. This variation used a yellow tomato instead of a red one, thus making it sweeter, in my opinion.
The Springbird brings home Olympic gold in comparison to the rest of the menu. A Turkey patty, ricotta & fresh goat cheese, marinated portobello mushrooms, braised kale and an apple crema sauce so amazing, it cause you to scream “PPYYEEEAHHH” and throw an arm up like Howard Dean in his 2004 presidential campaign speech in Iowa.
Both appetizers were astounding. The Caprese Salad had bacon bits thus making it next to impossible for it to be bad. If you love Avocado, Texas Toast, and eggs yolk, the Avocado Toast is your best bet. Both are fresh, light and high impacting on the palette. They seem to give you a fitting introduction to whichever burger you plan to try.
My taste is very particular when it comes to cookies, pastries and other dough-like sweets. It is even more so when it comes to an Arnold Palmer. Some places make them extremely sweet while others do not add any sugar whatsoever. Umami’s falls into the latter category, their Arnold Palmer is unsweetened featuring Green Iced Tea and tangy-tart Lemonade. The Arnie Palmer dessert features Green Tea ice cream, Limoncello sorbet and a Snickerdoodle! I tried the Green Tea ice cream first, and it tasted like unsweetened, strong green tea. Leave it to a woman to know how to bring things together, however, the next bite would send a shot of decadent pleasure to my brain, rivaling the shot of whiskey Roger Rabbit took in the bar saving him from Judge Doom. The flavors combine and the snickerdoodle is the added sweetness needed to the bitter green tea and puckering tart limoncello sorbet.
Umami Burger and I got off to a bad start, but our relationship has promise. The Springbird, bacon-bit Caprese salad, and Arnie Palmer are the beakers of light at the end of the tunnel. One thing is for sure, there is something for everyone at Umami Burger.
My first #Tastemade episode!
Umami Burger (The Grove)
189 The Grove Dr., Ste C-210
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”