fEATured: UMAMIcatessen

Usually when I hear of a restaurant opening in LA I run the other way. Not that I don't want to try it, but because I don't like to wait hours for a table, get mediocre service, and have food not up to par. But for the soft opening of Umamicatessen on March 3rd, I really couldn't wait! I am a big fan of Umami Burger, Stumptown, well-made cocktails, and Chef Chris Cosentino, and having all of them under one establishment made my heart flutter.
This Downtown Los Angeles dining experience is what Adam Fleischman, founder of Umami Burger, imagines a delicatessen should be.  Five different establishments served to your table.  We began the evening at The Back Bar with a few cocktails while we munched on 100% lard-fried pig ears dipped in brainnase, yes that's brainnaise, from PIGG by Chef Chis Consentino.  Naturally, being Filipino, I loved the pig ears.  The brainnaise is ...different, but worth a try.  After being seated, we had pig ears again in a different way.  The pig ear salad had a pig ear terrine which made it into a gelatinous texture yet still crunchy due to the cartilage. Pigg, Chris Consentino's establishement, features the magical animal served in several international ways.
Anjou - Grey Goose, La Poire, rock sake, yuzu syrup, lemon juice {$10}
Black Jack - Honey Jack, muddled black berries, and some other ingredients I can't remember. {$10} 
Crispy pig ears with parsley, lemon, and brainnaise {$7}
Pig ear salad with pickled chilies, watercress, and mint {$14}
For the main round we each decided to get our own burgers.  You really can't go wrong with either burger you choose.  For the most part, they have the same burgers as the original Umami Burger.  Try asking about the secret menu which has a few more burgers that are not on the original menu. You can also see my previous feature on Umami Burger.
The Greenbird - turkey burger, avocado, green cheese, butter lettuce, sprouts, green goddess {$10}
Truffle Burger - truffle cheese and truffle glaze in this meaty, cheesy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. {$10}
Earth Burger - mushroom and edamame patty, white soy aioli, truffled ricotta cheese, cipollini mushrooms, butter lettuce, slow roasted tomato {$12}

For dessert, we had a couple doughnuts from &a Donut.  The PB&J foie gras donut piqued our interest.  Since they will be banning foie gras here in California soon we decided to order it.  It is a fluffy yeast doughnut filled with jelly and foie gras peanut butter oozing out and topped with a peanut crumble.  Honestly, it wasn't my cup of tea.  The peanut butter squirting out as we cut into it was not appetizing (it looked like I we were intruding on it go #2 after a bad meal), and I didn't enjoy the taste of the savory foie gras mixed with peanut butter.  Although the concept seemed to be there, I would pass on this next time.  The tres leches donut was more dense and cakey and definitely more sweet and delicious.  I'm glad we ended on that note.
PB&J doughnut with foie gras {$8}
Tres Leches doughnut {$4}
The other two establishments inside Umamicatessen are The Cure and Spring for Coffee. The Cure is inspired by a kosher deli with the works: knishes, matzo ball soup, and pastrami.  Spring for Coffee is a gourmet coffee shop with beans from Stumptown, Handsome, and Sightglass.  I will soon do an update soon on these other two shops.

What a treat that night was.  We also were able to meet Glee's Harry Shum Jr. and Chef Chris Consentino!  Maybe restaurant openings aren't so bad after all. 

846 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 782-8201

UMAMIcatessen on Urbanspoon


  1. the foie donut looks like it "had an accident." =)

    1. You should have seen it oozing out as we cut into it! Hilarious! and almost off putting.


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