Gluten-Free Umami Burger or Have Bun, Will Travel


More burger news, people! Originally I had some product reviews lined up for today, but my laptop is currently in the hospital after I attempted to drown its sorrows in gin. Therefore, I’ve lost all my gorgeous photos of gluten-free donuts and ice cream cones. Which really means, I’ll just have to run those experiments all over again. Dangit.

In the meantime! I’m still enjoying the Udi’s hamburger buns, so much so I decided to infiltrate what is arguably the best burger joint in all of the United States: Umami Burger. This is where I admit to sending a sorrowful email to the L.A. joint right after I was diagnosed, begging them to serve a gluten-free bun so I wouldn’t have to give up this special treat of burger goodness. There was no reply. So I got bold.

Yesterday my daughter and I headed to the Studio City location, which I somehow thought might be easier to juke than the Hollywood one, and you can see the beautiful results in the photo above. But it wasn’t easy. In fact, I’m not sure I’d recommend this act of subterfuge, especially if you’re sitting at the counter. However, the end result was me enjoying a truffle burger (with truffle cheese — yowza!) like a semi-normal person. I just had to heat my bun before we arrived, wrap it in aluminum foil, then pull it out as soon as my protein-style burger was served. So much for being conspicuous, since I was taking photos. Here’s one of my daughter, who was digging this scene.

While the server denied my request to have the kitchen toast up the bun and put their signature stamp on my Udi’s, he did look the other way as I brought my own food into his establishment. It was heavenly, really. And gluten-free! With a side of smashed potatoes and a cherry coke, really, I was a happy lady. However, some gluten warnings.

The last time I went to Umami, at another location, the server told me that umami by its very nature is glutenous. But after doing  my own research, I did not find that to be true. He also told me the smashed potatoes were totally g-free, but yesterday’s server was not as confident about that being the case. I will say both times I ate at Umami, I did not feel 100% afterwards. This could have been due to the giant truffle burger and pile of fried potatoes I scarfed down, or it could have been some level of gluten. I didn’t get sick, sick. But I did not feel well, either. Was it worth it? Hell, yes. Will I do it again? Probably not.

I look at my bun swap as I would scaling Mt. Everest. It was amazing, but I see no reason to put myself in danger for the experience again. Umami Burger is truly one of the best burgers I’ve ever had in my life. But nothing is so amazing that it’s worth ripping my villi out by the roots.

7 Comments

Filed under Celiac Disease, Gluten Free Restaurants, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Gluten-Free Umami Burger or Have Bun, Will Travel

  1. You brave, brave women!! ;-) That photo does look yummy though! If you ate fried potatoes, right there could be the issue. If they are not fried in a dedicated fryer then they will come in contact with other stuff (flour coated) that has been fried in the same fryer. And thats enough to set off the icky feeling! I had to give up french fries at my favorite local place because they share a fryer with everything else…like onion rings, fried mushrooms, breaded fish, etc. I still haven’t been able to get my local store to carry the Udi’s buns. They will order the bread, but no buns yet! =( I have tried to order on line, but no luck with that either! =/

  2. Pingback: We Have a Gluten-Free Winner! | Gluten Is My Bitch

  3. Cate

    The Studio City chef has said that the burgers are not gluten free. One of their main ingredients is soy sauce, and it’s not the GF kind!

  4. Pingback: Gluten-Free Los Angeles: The Counter | Gluten Is My Bitch

  5. Pingback: Gluten-Free Umami Style Smashed Potatoes | Gluten Is My Bitch

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