2184 Union Street (near Fillmore Street)
San Francisco, CA 94123
Umami burger is named after umami, one of the five basic tastes. It is rarely recognized on its own. This subtle savory flavor naturally occurs in many foods. Some tie it to MSG as it is tasted by the same glutamate receptors in the tongue.
Why did we dine here? – Umami Burger is huge in Southern California, making us want to dine at this new outpost as soon as it was open. This restaurant is full of reclaimed and recycled wood, with a bar up front, sidewalk seating, and very loud music and people. Our last visit was to the Palo Alto location in the middle of 2014.
Insider Tip – To avoid the one-hour waits, come during off-peak hours
Cuisine – Burgers
Location – San Francisco Marina District and Soma
Opened – 2011
Service – Umami Burger had reasonable service with servers running around constantly. No worries regarding refills and the like.
Verdict – Umami Burger serves up very good burgers in an interesting dining room. It is no surprise that this place is busy.
Prices are high. Be warned, our meal for two, without alcohol, came out to $50. Ouch! If you are into burgers, definitely put Umami Burger on your hit list. 3% surcharge for Healthy San Francisco. Other burgers worth trying: Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers, Marlowe
Signature Dishes – Umami Truffle Burger
Umami Burger’s Menu features 7 burgers, 3 unbeef burgers (including a vegetarian one with lentils, shrooms, tomatoes, creama, etc) , and a daily special or two. Umami has quite a few beer selections available. They serve real soda in glass bottles. (Mexican Coke, Bubble Up, etc.)
Umami Burger Picks:
Boring Salad ($4) with market greens and chef’s seasonal dressing (miso vinaigrette) was surprisingly good. Pretty large portion of fresh greens and not very boring.
Truffle Burger ($12) famous blend of beef, roasted garlic aioli, house-made truffle cheese, truffle glaze. This burger really did feature truffle flavors along with a sweet glaze. Six ounces of Niman Ranch meat, cooked to a default bloody medium rare. We suggest ordering it medium.
A must for truffle fans. We’d get medium next time. On our last visit, we got the Truffle Especiale ($14) burger with a nice big egg on top, parmesan frico and truffled arugula.
Original Burger ($12) shitake onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp, house ketchup. Their namesake burger definitely met and exceeded our expectations. The soft bun combined with the juicy patty satisfied our burger cravings.
Manly Burger ($12) with beer cheddar, bacon lardons, smoked salt onion strings, house ketchup, mustard spread. Much more rich and artery clogging.
Thin Fries ($3.50) Were not very thin, but recommended nonetheless. Crisp and not overly salted.
Sweet Potato Fries ($4) were topped with brown sugar, but weren’t too sweet. Another worthy dish. Wish they had a combo of the two.
House Pickles ($5) This dish surprised us with 10 different kinds of pickled vegetables. Definitely a fun dish to order.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)