The first Bay Area location of an L.A.-based burger chain, Umami Burger is the city's most attractive burger restaurant, a confluence of ruddy woods, pale grays, and ceramic tiles dominated by a wall of cedar-shake shingles. The burgers are engineered to maximize the “sixth sense” of umami; they're they're cooked at low temperatures, then browned on a hot griddle, and bolstered with umami-bearing ingredients like Parmesan cheese, roasted tomatoes, and mushrooms. The basic burger definitely has a swagger, a full-charge meatiness that is easy to appreciate. Yet the check for a burger, fries, and beer can top $30, and sometimes a burger-lover wants lettuce, pickles, and mustard on his or her patty, instead of pure, dripping umamitude.
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