When we began dating 6+ years ago, Justin and I used to rent bikes in Santa Monica and ride along the beach. It was always so much fun that we eventually decided to buy our own bikes and quit renting. I'm not sure whether or not this was a smart decision. Taking our bikes out of the storage area in our condo building, strapping them to the back of my car, and driving them from Century City to Santa Monica (so we don't risk our lives biking past the freeway) is no easy task! But we did it today without causing an accident (let's just say no one tailgated us with the rear end of our car looking like this), so I'll call it a success! We rode from 26th to Ocean with just enough time to meet our friend at Umami burger by 6. Post-bike treat!
Umami burger has a lot of wonderfully decadent options, so if you opt for those when visiting this place, I’d completely understand. I hate mayo and cheese, so I naturally "healthify" their options. I’ve decided that the word “aioli” just means mayo with one or more spices thrown in. In my opinion, it makes sandwiches very heavy, and I don’t like feeling like I have a brick in my stomach after I eat. So as a rule of thumb, I always order restaurant dishes without aioli. That’s just me. Some may think my sandwiches would end up dry, but my philosophy is that I can always add mustard (or in this case, Umami's delicious special ketchup!) and be a happy camper. Today I got Umami's ahi burger without aioli. And it was delicious. The pickled daikon and carrots with ginger gave it great flavor. And it had avocado for a touch of creaminess. I’m not wild about avocado the way some people are, though I try to eat it every once and awhile because I know it’s good for me. Sometimes I like it when combined with other ingredients, and this visit to Umami was one of those “sometimes”. I definitely did not need to add any sauce to the burger since it had all the flavor I needed without the tartar. In the past, I’ve ordered their earth burger (no aioli, no cheese). I always love a veggie burger that’s unique to a restaurant (there are too many restaurants out there that just serve gardenburger patties which you can buy in bulk at Costco!) Umami’s earth burger is truly original, made with edamame beans which give it a unique flavor- love! Justin went for the earth burger tonight. And we topped off the meal with a creme brulee fleur de sel ice cream sandwich (between 2 sugar cookies). Yum!