The juices were dripping onto the plate from the burger as I grabbed it to take my first bite. Knowing how often I end up wearing my food in public, I set the burger back down and started eating it with a knife and fork.
I probably looked ridiculous, but the Umami Burger was the juiciest, melt-in-your-mouth beef sandwich I’ve had in recent memory. I could tell the beef was of top-choice quality, and the medium rare patty was not salty, like some burgers can be. The soft bun was like a sponge for the juices, but it didn’t get soggy or fall apart.
My favorite part about the burger, besides the patty, was the parmesan frico. I had to Google what that was: it’s basically cheese, baked or fried until it turns into a crispy wafer of deliciousness. So, a cheese chip. I loved it, and it just added more savoriness to the burger.
I also enjoyed the Umami house ketchup, which had a sweet and tangy flavor, and I picked up a slight marinara taste as well.
The only recommendation that my friend had was that the restaurant needs some wet wipes at the table, just in case you get beef juices down your hands. Other than that, Umami Burger will be in my South Bay dining rotation and a place I’ll take out-of-town visitors.
I try to stay away from reviewing restaurants that have a footprint outside of the West Coast. I’ve done a few in the past, but I quickly realized I wanted to focus on locally-owned establishments.
Umami Burger has three locations in New York, one in Illinois and one in Nevada. However, the restaurant was born in Southern California, and 80 percent of its locations are in this state.
With it being so close to Stanford University, I like that the Palo Alto location looks like a library or study with its tall shelves of books, wooden furniture and artwork. I felt like I could just order a cup of coffee and read a good book for hours.
Umami Burger’s Palo Alto location is situated at 452 University Ave. For more information, call 650-321-8626 or visit www.umamiburger.com.