Umami Burger, the SoCal mini-chain of gourmet hamburger joints preferred by carnivorous Angelenos and scores of hungry celebrities, is finally ready to open their first, much-anticipated Bay Area location early next month. Although plans for a location in the Mission and another in the East Bay apparently fell through, the chain is gearing up to open their first Northern California location on Union Street in the Marina on October 7th. In an interview with owner Adam Fleischman, Inside Scoop grinds out the rare details on what we can expect from the S.F. outpost:
We’re starting with our core L.A. menu, then tailoring things for San Francisco, like using local vendors. We’re trying to be San Francisco’s best burger place. The menu specifics are still a work in progress....
We’re treating it like it’s our first restaurant. We want to be seen as a local business. And I think the burger space [here] is wide open; San Francisco could use another burger joint to create something that really resonates with the people. In L.A., we grew our business one customer one at a time, and we want to do the same grassroots thing in San Francisco
We're not entirely sure the burger scene in town is "wide open" - we kind of have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to incredible hamburgers here. But we do have to admire Fleischman's ambition: he's already nabbed GQ magazine's accolades for the best burger in the country and "Best Burger in San Francisco" is arguably the higher honor. Even GQ admitted it (sort of).
With all that said, Umami Burger will have to contend with a slew of gourmet bun-and-patty options to topple current favorites like Nopa's grass-fed burger (if you're asking the Weekly) and Marlowe's lamb-infused number (if you're asking Michael Bauer) or pretty much anything from Pearl's Deluxe (if you're asking this SFist Editor).