Around Town: Umami Burger, Santa Monica

If you asked me what I thought the best pizza was, I would say Pizzeria Mozza. If you asked me what my favorite burger was, I’d be torn between a couple of places, but after trying the Cali Burger at Umami Burger, I’d say that there is a clear winner (so far…). I had constantly heard good things about Umami Burger, so when I was in L.A. over the weekend I made sure to include it in my lunch plans. I went to the Santa Monica location and only had to wait fifteen minutes for a table. As soon as I took my first bite, I knew what all the hype was about. The house-made American cheese literally melted in my mouth and the slow-roasted tomato added an extra kick of flavor to an already delicious burger. Also, the cheesy tater tots left me speechless. There are no words. Seriously, if these pictures don’t make your mouth water, I don’t know how to help you.

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Setting: There are many Umami Burger locations – Santa Monica’s Umami was a part of the Fred Segal store

Good for: Afternoon trip to L.A., pre-movie dinner with friends, table for one

What to order: Socal/Cali Burger, Truffle Burger, Cheesy Tater Tots (if they aren’t on the menu, ask for them), and lemonade

Downsides: From most people who I’ve talked to, there is usually a wait for a table (in my case, the wait wasn’t too bad)

Recommend: Going hungry…you will definitely leave full!

{Photos by Lauren}

Truffle Fries

Potatoes are food that I will never be able to give up. No matter how hard I try, they always find their way back into my life. However, after watching Supersize Me, I have had a hard time saying ‘yes’ to McDonald’s french fries. So when I need my french fry fix, this recipe comes in handy like no other. To bump the taste of the fries up a notch (or 3), simply add sea salt and truffle oil for a world of change.

You will need:
3 potatoes
Oil (Peanut oil works well)
Sea salt
Truffle Oil

How to make:
1. Peel and slice the potatoes into thin or thick slices (your preference).
2. Soak your potato slices in ice-cold water for 1 hour.
3. Heat oil (I used peanut oil) until it reaches 325°.
4. Drain and divide your potato slices into 3 batches – you don’t want to dump all of the slices into the hot oil at once because that will cool the oil down.
5. Dunk your potato slices into the hot oil until they turn a golden color. If you’re like me, you might be afraid of hot oil splashing up. This came in handy.
6. Once the first batch is golden, place in a bowl. Repeat with the other two batches.
7. After the 3 batches are finished, heat your oil up to 375° and repeat the process.
8. Let the fries cool down in a big bowl lined with paper towels. Drizzle truffle oil over them and top with sea salt.

Bon Appetit!