Umami Burger Opens 9th Location in LA, Going National

It may not be long until a branch of popular Los Angeles, California chain Umami Burger hits your city- the ninth Umami Burger is set to open in LA, and further expansion is certainly on the “burger crack” restaurant’s menu.

Umami Burger’s new flagship is set to open in a massive former spa at upscale shopping center the Grove, and expansion of the chain as well as a handful of offshoots including Umamicatessen are planned. Earlier this summer, Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman got financial backing from SBE hospitality group- enabling the chain to plan locations in Anaheim, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Texas.

Fleischman admits that success came quickly, but said he always imagined Umami Burger as a chain:

“I was wanting to do 50 restaurants from Day One,” says Fleischman, sitting at a round table surrounded by decorative rubber shavings on the floor at the back of Umami Urban in Hollywood on a recent Wednesday. “So, although I was surprised by how quickly we became popular, I wasn’t like, ‘How do we do No. 2?’”

In a Los Angeles Times profile, the restauranteur goes into the elusive concept of umami, also known as the “fifth taste.” (Joining sweet, bitter, sour and salty.) The flavor has been officially recognized for over two decades, but Western diners are still being introduced to Umami- of which Fleischman cites shiitake mushrooms and parmesan cheese as two illustrative examples.

As for the chain’s massive success so far, Fleischman credits the front page of Yahoo for catapulting Umami burger to restaurant stardom. He says:

“Our business doubled overnight, and it hasn’t slowed down since,” says Fleischman. “I was at the Burger Bash in Miami, and my phone was just blowing up.”