Dana Slatkin

Mushroom Edamame Burger

Edamame Burger

Adam Fleischman, the founder of Umami Burger, has been very busy lately. Aside from opening three sizzling-hot burger joints in the last year with another on the way, making final tune-ups on his fleet of roving UB trucks, and spawning a somewhat revolutionary burger renaissance in this town of vegetarians, food-phobics and healthier-than-thou puritans, Adam graciously paused to answer a few questions.

Why would the Beverly Hills Farmgirl be interested in this Messianic meat monger? For two good reasons: first, he is obsessed with umami, that delectable “fifth taste” that drives foodies wild and consumes chefs in its pursuit; and second, anyone who flouts rules with such balls is intriguing to me and—okay—a little sexy.

When I asked how he created the Earth Burger, Adam explained, “I tried to get as much umami in there as I could. Since mushrooms contain mucho umami , that is where I started…[then we] added edamame, which everyone loves to eat.”

Umami Burger

What is truly remarkable about the Earth Burger is that it looks uncannily similar to a full-carnage burger, mainly due to the addition of beet juice, and is no less satisfying. Enthroned on a fluffy buttered bun and crowned with roasted tomatoes, butter lettuce and garlic aioli, it makes this veg-head raving ecstatic.

To my surprise, only about 5 percent of all the Umami Burgers sold are the vegetarian ones. But I suspect they have already bred more than a few addicts. When I asked what his idea of a great lunch would be, Adam replied, “I am so obsessed with creating new burgers, that is my favorite lunch.” (But he also loves “to eat sushi, good pizza, food truck tacos, and fancy Cal cuisine like Hatfield’s or Sona.”)

Next time you visit Umami Burger, be sure to say hello. “We are all about knowing the personal tastes of our guests,” says Adam. I’d say he’s got mine nailed.

For locations, menus and more, visit Umami Burger. This recipe is not official, but comes pretty close to Umami’s Earth Burger.

Be sure to enter your favorite sandwich in our April cooking contest.

Photo credit: thecattylife.com

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  1. helen thomas says:

    your article made me finally try this veggie burger.  pretty yummy.

  2. Michelle Tullier says:

    Have just returned to Atlanta from a long weekend in LA where my first lunch of the trip was the outstandingly delicious Earth Burger at Umami Valli. I landed in ATL last night in a blind panic, realizing I am now 2000 miles from an Earth Burger. So your post and recipe gives me hope and might save my sanity. I will be making one tonight!

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