Dip yo fries in the two white dips above (the orange one will make you cry it's that spicy) because Umami is known for having quality sauces you can eat with everything on the menu (just probably not a chocolate chip cookie sandwich…)
Not a burger person? Don't make up your mind too quickly until you've taken a trip to Umami Burger. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Umami has expanded across the globe, with its first NYC store opening in the past year. I expected a cramped, overpriced burger joint with average burgers, and was pleasantly surprised. Upon walking into Umami, you are greeted by some of the kindest and quality waiters and staff who make your visit worth every minute. Around 8 PM, you can expect a wait time of 10-15 minutes, depending on the business, with people crowding in and out until the restaurant gets quieter around 10:30 PM.
Umami has an extensive menu. Similar to the concept of Bareburger, Umami has a limited selection of burgers and doesn't accept substations. Basically, Umami knows what's up, and you can't debate with what they consider a burger to taste like. Medium-rare is recommended for every option. Every few weeks, the joint introduces a special new limited burger, and of course, we couldn't resist anything that is only on the menu for a set amount of time.
I began with the arugula/beet/goat cheese salad, which was average, nothing too special and nothing super bland. More beets and goat cheese would have been knocked it out of the park, though I'm not complaining. Truffle fries are an Umami staple (as well as burgers covered in truffle) and they have several variations of truffle fries on the menu. I wasn't super impressed with the french fries- a little too much cheese and a little too much truffle, which was disappointing since I really did look forward to getting a rich, truffle taste.
Ok, so salad and french fries weren't making my mouth salivate (it's a burger restaurant, what burger joint needs to make a kick ass salad?) burgers on the other hand? Out of the fricken box. The manager recommended we try 4 different burgers (4 burgers- 2 girls!!!!) so we went with the truffle burger, the truffle burger with a fried egg, the duck burger, and the short rib burger. Shake shack, I have found a new boyfriend. We couldn't get over the perfectly moist and chewy burger, especially paired with a truffle sauce and crispy arugula. Originally hesitant to try duck since I have a no duck and lamb rule (creeps me out slightly) I went for the kill, and duck has to be one of my new favorite foods. Even if you're not eating the bun (for those on a healthy lifestyle kick, opt for a burger wrapped in lettuce, but you won't get the same sensation) Umami knows how to make their burger worth every bite.
We ended up with nutella and chocolate chip/white raspberry sugar cookie ice cream sandwiches, which were pretty basic but tasty. For someone who loves anything glazed, fried, or dipped in chocolate, I have to say how much I enjoyed eating the burgers over dessert, which is quite unusual for me. I was still picking at my burger with a chocolate chip cookie sandwich in front of me- what is this madness!?
Overall, Umami knows what is up. I spent 2 hours on a Friday night at a burger restaurant, and who says they do that and enjoy every minute?