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Walnut Creek Magazine

Celeb Favorite Umami Burger Offers Through-the-Tunnel Temptation

Mar 28, 2021 08:53PM ● By Fran Miller

Ktown Burger

Umami Burger, the beloved, celeb-favored, nationwide, craveable burger concept by C3, is returning to its roots by offering old favorites from the original Umami Burger menu, while updating the bun and patty recipe and offering Impossible options, sides, appetizers, and desserts. Umami Burger’s past partnerships have included those with Cindy Crawford, Alton Brown, Jayden Smith, and Bon Jovi, but you don’t need to be a TMZ regular to enjoy the unbelievably tasty offerings of this Los Angeles-founded restaurant. (To call it fast-food is a disservice.) The new menu provides good reason for a tunnel drive to Oakland where our closest Umami Burger location finds its home. If you’ve never been, you’re missing out. This is flavor-filled, fun cuisine:

Signature menu items include:

·       Umami Burger – Umami sauce, 4 oz. smash patty, lettuce, pickles, tomato, caramelized onions, American cheese

·       Truffle Burger – truffle aioli, truffle fondue, truffle glaze

·       Pastrami Burger – pastrami, pepperoncini, sauerkraut, 4 oz smash patty, Dijon mustard, provolone

·       Sunnyside Burger – bacon strips, fried egg, 4 oz. smash patty, truffle aioli, tomato spread, lettuce, American cheese

·       Texas BBQ Bacon Burger – 4 oz smash patty, bacon wrapped onion ring, classic sauce, romaine, tomato, pickle, American cheese, BBQ Sauce

·       Umami Patty Melt - 4 oz. smash patty, caramelized onions, provolone, American cheese, classic sauce

Pastrami Burger

Manly Fries

“We took this time during the pandemic to really reflect on our current menu offerings and take a deeper look on how we can continue to bring the most craveable burgers to our guests,” said Vincenzo Rossy, senior director of openings at C3, the revolutionary food & beverage platform that combines innovative customer experience, world-class culinary talent, and state-of-the-art hybrid networks of virtual kitchens and mobile delivery. “We wanted to bring back what the original Umami Burger fans knew and loved, while introducing fun and unique menu items to the concept.”

Chocolate Stout Shake

C3’s new beverage director, industry veteran Jason Jeffords, formerly of New York City’s Gotham & Blue, Pegu Club, and Catch, created a new beverage menu that ranges from local craft beer and wine, to boiler makers (beer + shot combo), to classic-with-a-twist cocktails. But what we really want with our burger is a milkshake (make that a boozy one), and if the burgers and fries aren’t enough to get you up and out, these crazy concoctions surely will: 

·       Banana Matcha Shake – vanilla ice cream, matcha cream, banana, and whipped cream (add spiced Bacardi, coffee frosting, Coffee Nut M&Ms, and a tiramisu donut)

·       Piña Colada Shake – pineapple ice cream, coconut cream, coconut shavings, and whipped cream (add Malibu Rum, fresh pineapple, coconut frosting, and puffy pastry pineapple turnover)

·       Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shake – vanilla ice cream, cinnamon syrup, sea salt, and whipped cream (add Fireball, cinnamon frosting, crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, and a waffle)

·       Rocky Road Shake – chocolate ice cream, toasted marshmallow, walnuts, and whipped cream (add bourbon, chocolate chips, fluff marshmallow, chocolate sauce, and a brownie)

Rocky Road Shake

“With Umami’s new boozy milkshake menu, we didn’t take ourselves too seriously, and weren’t afraid to put interesting flavors together,” said Jeffords. “I hope to give guests at Umami a new, memorable experience when it comes to their drinks, whether they opt for an umami-forward classic cocktail, a local craft beer, or one of our elaborate shakes to accompany their burger.”


Spicy Southern Tender Dog

 If chicken is more to your liking, luckily, Oakland’s Umami Burger also serves as home to Sam’s Crispy Chicken, also from C3 Founder and CEO Sam Nazarian. Here too you’ll find a refreshed menu; in addition to assorted Fried Chicken Sandwiches made with buttered brioche buns from Turano Baking Co., the new menu also introduces new appetizers, salads, sides, combo boxes, such as the Trust Us and Hot Combo, and Tender Dogs – Sam’s Crispy Chicken’s take on a fried chicken hot dog. Signature menu items include:

·       The Classic – chicken breast, Sam’s spice, pickles, classic sauce 

·       The Original Sam’s Crispy Chicken – chicken breast, Sam’s spice, pickles, classic sauce

·       The Nashville Hot – chicken breast, pickles, chili oil dip, kewpie 

·       Mac Melt – garlic toast, bacon, mac n cheese, provolone

·       Caesar Chicken Sandwich – garlic toast, grilled chicken breast, romaine, parmesan, Caesar dressing

·       Onion Lover Tender Dog – chicken tenders, BBQ sauce, red onions, white onions, honey mustard, Sam’s spice

·       Spicy Southern Bird Dog – chicken tenders, Sam’s spice, cheese sauce, parmesan, bacon, bleu cheese dressing, buffalo sauce, parsley

The Early Bird Sandwich


“As we approach one year of success at Sam’s Crispy Chicken, we wanted to look for ways to amplify our menu and continue to lead the crispy chicken movement in Los Angeles and beyond,” said Nazarian. “With a focus on quality ingredients and flavor, we go above and beyond the traditional chicken sandwich and have expanded our offerings to include combinations and interpretations of what diners are seeing out there—everything from globally-inspired flavors to a morning breakfast sandwich.”

Umami Burger/Sam’s Crispy Chicken is located at 2100 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94612 

Photos courtesy of C3

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