Dine Out : Umami Burger

West Coast favorite Umami Burger recently opened their first NYC location in the West Village and we were there on the first day. I didn't exactly plan it that way but we happened to have some business in the area and decided to drop by for lunch. Hubster might like burgers or something. There was already a small line when we arrived just before noon and we waited over 20 minutes to get in even though the place was pretty much empty. This was part of some sort of PR move for hype building, I guess. I opted for the signature Umami Burger which is topped with shitake mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, a parmesan crisp and special umami ketchup. It was nice to have the option get it bun-less which I did. Hubster ordered the Manly Burger that's made with beer cheddar cheese, smoked salt onion strings and bacon lardon. My burger tasted pretty good even though it fell apart into ground meat bits by the second bite. I don't normally care for ketchup but the umami (Japanese word meaning pleasant savory taste) was to my liking. Hubster's burger might've been decent if it hadn't become inedibly salty before he was even halfway through it. Fortunately our sides of cheesy tots and sweet potato fries were better. The service was friendly enough but scattered which was puzzling since the dining room was nowhere near full and they were quite adequately staffed. My burger came out on a bun even though I ordered it without and they weren't exactly apologetic about it either and then someone came and set the other side of the table next to us while we were eating and returned to remove it a few minutes later. Our waitress was borderline pushy with the up-selling which was annoying. Both the food and experience were a disappointment and considering our tab was almost $50 with tip, we expected better. Needless to say, we don't buy the hype and have no plans to return. Shake Shack really is so much better and costs way less too. I recently tried their new fresh cut fries and they're fantastic! I hope they'll make their way downtown soon.

Umami Burger
432 Sixth Avenue (9th &10th)
New York City
$ - $$

Umami Burger on Urbanspoon


  1. The cheesy tots look great! I haven't had an asian burger for ages...I love the umami taste.

  2. Yaaam^^

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  3. The food looks delicious. It's a very nice restaurant. Nice photos too.
    Have a lovely week.

  4. All of this looks amazing....yum!! I would have eaten every thing, haha :)) Have a great Monday doll xx

  5. That is so strange that they were keeping people out for hype. Maybe it was also because they didn't have enough help? I have seen Shake Shack in my Manhattan travels but I don't eat burgers so it seems silly for me to go.

    My supervisor is on vacation this week so, yay! It should be a nice last 3 days. :) I can't say I've never threatened cute bunny with rabbit stew when he ate all my hot pepper plants last summer but I'm vegetarian so it was an empty threat.

    All idols would explain why I only knew 2 people on BF, and if you hadn't told me about the one in Cyrano I would have never known. I'm still trying to get through IiP...

  6. Mmm looks delicious when I head back home NYC will go to give a try.

  7. Look so yummi!! The pics are great!


  8. i've heard great things and would love to go there

  9. I have been wondering about this place for awhile. I stopped eating red meat again, but the photos don't look great. My NY friends swear by Shake Shack, so it sounds like that is the way to go. Wow the bill sounds a little high, but that's restaurants these days. Those fries look pretty good though :)

    xo Mary Jo

  10. this sounds so good :) would love to try this out.

  11. yum. i want to try this out and boy am i craving shake shack. they have one here in dc!

  12. Rowena, that is horrible! They charge that much and act THAT way! From beginning to end it was bad. To make you wait, add buns when you requested none, the saltiness of your hubby's burger, the fries etc do not look that great and then the salty attitudes!!! i hate places like that. i've heard GREAT things about Shake Shack! I wish we had one here. LOL Sorry, you guys had to experience that. Thanks for this post! That's the only way people will truly know. You should share this review on Urbanspoon or Yelp.

  13. Too bad the experience was so negative, the interior design of the place looks great. I went to a place on the lower east side called Rustic LES and it was great. The place is tiny but the interior design is cool, the food was phenomenal--different. The service was good. It is a bit pricey but worth it.

    Ali of

    Dressing Ken

  14. OMG yum! I love how the one is call the 'Manly Burger' haha. Hope they open one up in Toronto!


  15. That's really too bad you had a less-than-stellar experience considering the price:( I hate when servers do that too!
    Anyhoo, the pics do look good:)

  16. Great review!! too bad the experience was negative!!
    Have a good week, dear Rowena!! heart for your post!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

  17. What a bummer the service was off! I had a pretty good experience at the Santa Monica outlet. Ok I totally want a burger now...

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  18. O, that's too bad -- the place looks nice, and the food does look pretty yummy! Never mind, at least you had some fun bonding time with the hubs! P.S. Greg Peck is my all-time favourite too!! He was going to be my next feature, so look out for it :)

  19. Hi Rowena! Sounds like a fun weekend:) GREAT burgers here and love the yam fries! If I'm going to eat a burger it has to be one with lots of goodies on it.. this fits the bill!


  20. That's too bad about the service. For me service and value-for-money is important apart from food quality and taste because you are also paying for the dining experience. I really don't get establishments that have poor service, it's like they intentionally want to fail :s


  21. I love Umami burger! The truffle burger is my favorite!


  22. Love the name and OMG those photos look amazing! xo

  23. Great post! Yummy!

    Would you like to follow each other with GFC and Bloglovin '? Let me know :)

    Best wishes!

  24. Those are some nice-looking burgers!

  25. Too bad this wasn't the experience you had expected! Right now, the pics of the sweet potato fries and tater tots look pretty yummy, tho'! ;) xo T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

  26. The food looks good in your pics, so it's too bad it fell short of your expectations. $50 for burgers and tots is awfully expensive....especially if the burgers and service were short of amazing. I haven't tried this place, but it does sound to be overhyped from your review.

  27. Hi Rowena, the sides look great. pity about the confusion, maybe because its new the staff were not so properly trained? Great food photos :) Thanks for sharing your VMA style perspective with me, that was my favourite look as well.

  28. Whoa, good heavens that's quite a bit for a burger, it does look good though, I'd grab a veggie burger though, I love sweet potato fries. I suppose grilling your own is okay sometimes, at least there's more for beer funds, haha. Have a good one dear. xx/Madison

  29. Oh my, this is why I'm always jealous with NYC residents. Best food ever! I'm hungry....

  30. That sucks, you'd think with a new opening that they'd be on their best behavior. Something similar happened with me and Torchy's Tacos, a taco place that had a lot of hype. Someone's gotta be a critic, I guess.



  31. the crispy cheesy thingy inside of the burger looks great but i have to agree that shake shack is hard to beat in many aspects.
    they get their meat from one of the best venders in the city, the same one for Mineta Tavern in SoHo. :)

  32. Your photos look amazing so it looks tasty, but I'm not sure about how thin the bread is in the Manly burger. Looks too meaty for my liking!


  33. Umm, that looks amazing. The cheese is so gooey, my mouth is watering from looking at these pictures. Cheesey tater tots sound so good!! But, it sounds like the pictures make the food look better than it tasted. That's too bad you guys didn't have a better experience : (


  34. Ooh, as a fellow New Yorker, I'm looking forward to more of your food reviews!


  35. Oh wow, that burger looks insane!! We are hungry now! :-)

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings


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