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Umami’s New Veggie Burger Actually Looks And Tastes Like Real Meat

Photo by Isai Rocha/Foodbeast

Umami Burger’s latest burger will fake you out, as it looks and tastes just like beef, but is actually 100 percent plant based.

Umami announced that it has partnered with Impossible Foods to make its own version of the Impossible Burger, and will be selling it at nine of its locations, starting May 18.

The burger consists of two Impossible burger patties, caramelized onions, two slices of American cheese, miso-mustard, dill pickles, lettuce, tomato, and Umami’s house spread in between their Portuguese-style bun.

You might hear the term “veggie burger” and immediately wonder why vegetarians would want to eat something that looks like meat, but this burger is actually made to attract meat eaters, not vegetarians, according to Impossible Foods’ CEO Patrick Brown.

“Every time a vegetarian buys it, it’s a waste of a burger,” Brown said. “Very commonly, vegans and vegetarians have a hard time eating it because it’s so… it’s like meat to them.”

Impossible’s mission isn’t meant to convert meat-eaters to veganism, it’s to provide a beef alternative, because they believe if we continue using cows at this high rate, we’re going to cause “irreparable damage” to the environment.

“People love the foods we get from cows,” Brown said. “They love their burgers and love their meat. We have to find a solution to that problem, to produce all those foods without any compromise in deliciousness and nutrition.”

The patty itself is seasoned with their Umami dust, like they do with all their burgers, and according to Umami’s chief operating officer Gregg Frazer, the patties actually caramelize on the outside when cooking, just as a regular beef patty would.

The Impossible Burger has made waves over the last year, as David Chang added it to his Momofuku Nishi restaurant in New York, showcasing the patty’s somewhat-shocking ability to be cooked to “medium-rare” and actually have red tint within. It eventually made its way to Los Angeles’ Crossroads Kitchen, as Angelenos got their first taste of the faux-beef burger.

The burger had previously been featured in 10 U.S. restaurants, but this Umami collaboration marks the burger’s biggest expansion, being carried at nine of Umami’s 20 locations, meaning you can now find the Impossible Burger at 19 restaurants nationwide.

The Impossible burger is a gourmet burger, and doesn’t come cheap, as Umami will be selling it for $16 each. If you really want to get your hands on one, though, be sure to call in and make sure they haven’t sold out, because each restaurant will only sell 50 Impossible Burgers per day.

The nine SoCal locations carrying it will be Santa Monica, Broadway in Downtown L.A., Arts District, Hollywood, Los Feliz, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Pasadena, and Thousand Oaks.

Trying the burger myself, I think it can really fool you. It’s actually really good. Not just good for vegetarian food, it’s legitimately good. You’re getting the Umami Burger flare, without compromise in flavor.

If this is the future of the burger industry, at least it tastes delicious.

By Isai Rocha

Isai is the self-proclaimed Kanye West of burrito eating. He has a hard time trusting vegans, ranch dressing and especially vegan ranch dressing.