I don’t even really like Umami Burger, if you want to know the truth. I’ve been twice and, while the first time was alright, the second was a soggy mess that left me seriously questioning Umami-mania. I’d been expecting fireworks, but all I got the beefy equivalent to a bum sparkler.
Nonetheless, I still found myself in Eagle Rock last Friday night, queueing up for The Oinkster’s take on the signature Umami Burger. It was a misguided attempt to make up for having missed the pretend Tommy Burger they’d served earlier in their Burger Week. You see, I’ve loved Tommy Burgers since I was a kid, when my dad would take us to the original location on Beverly. But that’s when I was brave–these days, the drippy chili-cheese burgers scare me, which is why I was clamoring for the safer-seeming Oinkster version.
Sadly, it was not to be.
I couldn’t get to The Oinkster on the Tommy Burger day, but just the thought of it ignited in me a lust that couldn’t be tamed. And then I saw Burgergasm’s write up, and the urge got worse. That thick-sliced tomato slab! Those dill pickles! The way the cheese melts into that thick, chalky chili! The yellow mustard sting! Good heavens, I couldn’t get it out of my mind, and for some reason I thought an Umami would help matters. And…of course it didn’t. I was insane to think it would.
The Oinkster’s version left me feeling about the same as the real thing. The oven-roasted tomatoes were nice and sweet, and shitakes are always welcome in any burger of mine, but the kobe patty was dry in spots and moist in others while the Parmesan crisp faded into the background. The bun, however, was not soggy, giving it a slight edge over the original.
Such a let down, but I can’t blame The Oinkster. It was a ridiculous to think that an Umami burger could step in and replace a Tommy Burger. They’re not even from the same planet. On the bright side, I still had those crispy Belgian fries and an Eagle Rock Solidarity to focus on. That, and my resolve to not miss any important burgers next time Burger Week comes around. I’m hoping against hope that they do another Tommy Burger because this craving in killing me…
Just like the real thing might.