|A promising start|
Los Angeles, California 90036
It was bound to happen. Today was an off day at Umami La Brea.
The Burger Breakdown...
The usually impeccably and precisely cooked burger first came out cooked to an aggressive and parched Well Done. Both the burger and the bun were over-cooked. The patty/puck was charred and black on the exterior--I have never had a burger this badly over-cooked before. I brought it back to the counter, after cutting it open to reveal the gray interior, to demonstrate that it was miles past Med-Rare. The smoldering exterior was probably sufficient, but I felt the need to make a point.
|A burnt patty|
The beef was lackluster. It had zero taste of beefiness. It tasted strongly of the umami ingredients added to the beef, but the beef itself contributed no flavor. Gone was the beefy, aged goodness that had previously served to anchor the dish. This was probably due to the dramatic under-cooking on the second round of preparing the meal. The texture was weak, as well. This was a wad of tartar on a bun.
For round 2, the burger was cooked to a lukewarm Rare (dead raw) rather than the Med-Rare, which I had requested....twice.
The seasoning on the burger that I tried was uneven and mostly lacking. It took three bites to locate a seasoned portion on the cheeseburger. After five bites, I gave up and asked for a box.
The cheese on both tries was the white cheese that came with the Truffle Burger rather than the usual yellow cheese that has always topped the SoCal Burger.
Even the sear was lackluster on that second attempt. I had trouble understanding why it took 15 minutes to deliver a raw and poorly seared burger.
|Barely warm, raw beef|
I found all of this especially surprising since I had sent the first burger back for being incorrectly prepared.
This was a serious stumble for the otherwise fantastic burgers that Umami Burger has delivered in the past. I hope that this was only an isolated case of PEBGAP....Problem Exists Between Griddle And Plate, and I happened in on a day when the kitchen staff simply stopped caring. It was around 2:00 PM on a Wednesday--maybe they had a hellish lunch rush. Sadly, the front of house staff didn't notice any of these issues when shuttling the food from the kitchen to the table.
|Wilted, browning lettuce|
Has anyone else experienced a similar declining trend in quality, or was I simply particularly unlucky today?
Burger Review : Umami Burger--What happened?
October 15, 2010
October 27, 2009