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The Review: One juicy, medium-rare star for Umami Burger

December 9, 2009 |  1:26 pm

Umami-blog America is full of contradictions. At a time when Michael Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma" is a bestseller, novelist Jonathan Safran Foer has just written an exhortation against the eating of meat ("Eating Animals"), and vegans are clamoring for chefs to accommodate them at top restaurants, the country is also becoming even more burger-obsessed than it already was.

In-N-Out Burger, Southern California's own classic drive-in burger chain, appears on many foodies' Top 10 lists. Mozza's Nancy Silverton and chef Amy Pressman are bringing their burgers to the Farmers Market. And just about every top-tier restaurant has a burger -- with or without short ribs, with or without foie gras -- on the menu.

Earlier this year, Adam Fleischman, a former partner in Culver City's Bottle Rock, opened Umami Burger on La Brea Boulevard. It's a tiny place with only a handful of tables, a modest menu of burgers and a few sides -- and no wine-and-beer license, the better to bring your own. With most burgers, including the signature Umami Burger, under $10, hand-cut fries and homemade ketchup, it's no surprise the place caught fire with L.A.'s dedicated burger hounds.

To read the rest of S. Irene Virbila's review, click here.

Photo: Umami's Manly Burger. Credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / For The Times