Thursday, February 12, 2015

Foodie Adventures: Umami Burger

u·ma·mi /o͞oˈmämē/ noun - a pleasant, savory taste

For the namesake of our blog, we inevitably had to go on some adventure. And what could possibly be more adventurous than downtown Palo Alto? While we didn't go far, we were able to explore some interesting flavors. Time to put that 10 credits of CTE to good use in this food review.

K: The Umami Burger restaurant can be described as a library meets cabin-in-the-woods meets art school. Bookshelves offer some form of privacy between tables which was nice. 

S: I ordered the actual Umami burger ($11.50), also known as the Original Burger. Gotta try what a restaurant calls its original dish, right? The burger has a one juicy beef patty cooked to your preference of doneness (mine was medium rare), a sweet and succulent roasted tomato, shiitake mushroom, caramelized onions, crunchy parmesan frico, and Umami Burger’s unique house ketchup. It’s always such a great feeling when each ingredient in a dish work with each other to create the perfect harmony, and that is exactly what happened in this dish. The juiciness of the tomato, patty, and onion combined with the crunchiness of the bun and frico and the chewiness of the shiitake mushrooms create such a pleasant texture in the mouth — not to mention the extraordinary taste of the burger as well. After biting into the burger, I detected some sweet notes from the tomato and onion, then some fattier notes from the frico and patty itself. The patty was definitely made from high quality meat, cooked to the perfection, rounding off the perfect bite of the burger. 

K: Until I tried the Truffle Burger ($12), I had never tasted a burger that felt so luxurious in my mouth. My burger consisted of a succulent medium-rare beef patty, creamy truffle aioli, house truffle cheese, and a truffle glaze. I couldn’t distinguish which truffle ingredients were what because all together they just looked like cheese. However, the flavors worked in the most harmonious way imaginable. The juices from the burger paired with the depth of the truffle and creaminess of the cheese is a treat to the palate. I was expecting the truffle flavor in the burger too be too rich for me to scarf down the whole thing quickly but boy was I wrong… The main concentration of the truffle flavor resides in the cheese but overall is not overwhelming and is very pleasurable. The crisp bun in conjunction with the juicy patty and savory sauces offered the most satisfactory combination of texture and flavor in each bite.

S: The table placement at Umami is so beautiful - it is the little things that make the restaurant's cozy yet classy atmosphere so pleasing. The menu itself has so much to offer as well, anything off of the menu is sure to be an experience the taste buds will remember.

K: The burger paired perfectly with the crunchy sweet potato fries which were seasoned with brown sugar and spices that gave it a great kick. I found that the Umami ketchup sauce also had hints of truffle oil in it, so that every dip definitely gives that signature savory flavor that is known as umami.

K: After enjoying such a trendy gourmet burger restaurant, I feel the need to be just as artsy. After all, you are what you eat.

S: So, it was still a bit rainy the day we chose to go to Umami Burger — but of course we were prepared. K is rockin a dress and flannel combo, dresses aren’t just for warmer days! Along with that, she’s paired a leather messenger bag, cute wedges and a clear umbrella. For myself, I’ve still got my black rainboots and top paired with relatively lighter components of the rest of my outfit. I love the contrast of the boots and top with my peach and cream cardigan, gray infinity scarf, and white jeans.  

K: If I had to match a TV trope to S’s outfit I would say she embodies the adorable girl next door in that cozy yet feminine cardigan. I love that the femme color palette utilizing the soft peach and white is juxtaposed by the edgier black elements in her boots, shirt, and umbrella keep the outfit balanced literally from head to toe. It’s a very classy combination. I didn’t feel like it was that cold that day so I opted for a t-shirt dress with a daintier floral print to mix with the larger plaid checks on my flannel. I got the flannel while thrifting in SF and have found it to be a surprisingly versatile item in my closet. It’s also a larger (I think mens’ size) fit so its comfortable as well. The combination of the two prints gave off a rustic vibe so I paired it with leather and suede accents like my bag and shoes.
S: Cozy and comfortable - yet chic. That's always something to go for, looking good while feeling comfortable. Everything in this outfit feels good to wear, and is super versatile. Everything is either warm, or flexible when pairing with other elements of an outfit.

K's Outfit:
Flannel- Thrifted
Dress- Urban Outfitters
Necklace- DIY
Messenger Bag- F21
Boot Wedges- Nine West 
Umbrella: Amazon

S's Outfit:
Cardigan: Forever 21
Scarf: Nordstrom BP
Top: Forever 21
Jeans: Ralph Lauren
Boots: Amazon
Umbrella: Target

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