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Umami flavors the name and specialties at new outpost in Los Feliz

November 2, 2009 |  8:40 am

For ages, it was accepted that there were only four primary tastes on the tongue from which all others arose. Those would be sweet, sour, salty and bitter. But over the last few decades a fifth taste, called umami, has gained acceptance among gourmands worldwide. A Japanese scientist identified it in 1908, and it can best be described as savory.

That flavor (enhanced by an all-natural umami rub made of proprietary ingredients) is the secret in the sauce at the ascendant L.A. chain Umami Burger. The first Umami Burger opened less than a year ago on La Brea; last month, a second outpost opened in the old Cobras & Matadors space on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz. The second Umami has an attached Japanese-centric beer and wine bar called Salaryman (the space was formerly Sgt. Recruiter). Read more here.

Photo: An umami burger and hand-cut fries at Umami Burger in Los Feliz. Credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / For The Times