Category Archives: Thousand Oaks

Not Your Routine Poutine

canada
Canada is the home of gold medal winning female bobsledders, an incorrigible rapscallion/pop star known as “J-Biebs,” and a corpulent crack-smoking mayor that bears a striking resemblance to the late great Chris Farley. But foodwise, the greatest achievement of our neighbor to the north is poutine.

For the uninitiated, poutine is Canadian fast food that originated in Quebec. It’s fries with a brown gravy-like sauce and cheese curds. A good plate of poutine is salty and unctuous, and perfect for late night binging, noshing at a hockey game, and consuming while listening to the song stylings of French-Canadian chanteuse Celine Dion.

LA chefs, especially those at local gastropubs, have been obsessed lately with poutine and have lovingly put their own spin the dish. Below are some of my favorite non-traditional poutines served around town, with a couple of more classic ones thrown in for good measure.

Chicken Tikka Poutine

Chicken Tikka Poutine

1. Chicken Tikka Poutine from Badmaash (108 W. 2nd Street in Downtown Los Angeles).

Bahn Mi Poutine

Bahn Mi Poutine

2. Bahn Mi Poutine from The Gorbals (501 So. Spring St. in Downtown Los Angeles)

Galbi Poutine with Pickled Kimchi Onions

Galbi Poutine with Pickled Kimchi Onions

3. Galbi Poutine with Pickled Kimchi Onions from Seoul Sausage (11313 Mississippi Ave, Los Angeles in West LA)

Pastrami Gravy Fries with Beef Tallow Fries, Pastrami Bits Pastrami Gravy, Melted Swiss Cheese and Chopped Pickles

Pastrami Gravy Fries (with Beef Tallow Fries, Pastrami Bits Pastrami Gravy, Melted Swiss Cheese and Chopped Pickles)

4. Pastrami Gravy Fries (with Beef Tallow Fries, Pastrami Bits Pastrami Gravy, Melted Swiss Cheese and Chopped Pickles) from Plan Check Kitchen + Bar (1800 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles in West LA and 352 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles in Mid-City)

Truffled Poutine Burger

Truffled Poutine Burger

5. Truffled Poutine Burger from Umami Burger (Locations in Santa Monica, Studio City, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Hermosa Beach, Downtown, Burbank, Hollywood, Thousand Oaks and Pasadena)

Gravy Fried with Roast Brisket and Cheddar

Gravy Fries with Roast Brisket and Cheddar

6. Gravy Fries with Roast Brisket and Cheddar from The Bowery (6268 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles in Hollywood)

Poutine with Ground Beef and Sauteed Onions, Peppers & Mushrooms

Poutine with Ground Beef and Sauteed Onions, Peppers & Mushrooms

7. Build your own Poutine (this one has Ground Beef and Sauteed Onions, Peppers and Mushrooms) at Jay’s Bar (4321 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles in Silverlake)

Smoked Meats Poutine with curds and gravy

Smoked Meats Poutine with Curds and Gravy

8. Smoked Meats Poutine with Curds and Gravy from Little Fork (1600 Wilcox Ave., Los Angeles in Hollywood)

Poutine, Oxtail Gravy, Cheddar

Poutine, Oxtail Gravy, Cheddar

9. Poutine, Oxtail Gravy, Cheddar from Animal (435 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles in Mid-City)

Poutine Île-du-Prince-Édouard with mussels au gratin

Poutine Île-du-Prince-Édouard with Mussels au Gratin

10. Poutine ÃŽle-du-Prince-Édouard with Mussels au Gratin from Soleil Westwood and P’tit Soleil (1386 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles in Westwood)

If you enjoy Consuming LA, please subscribe, like me on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter at the top right of this page. Also you can now follow me on Instagram @ConsumingLA. And please forward to your friends!

5 Comments

Filed under Burbank, Downtown, Hermosa Beach, Hollywood, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Silverlake, Studio City, Thousand Oaks, West LA, Westwood

I’ll Take The Fifth


While New York is a pizza city, LA is all about the burgers. Whether it’s In-N-Out, Father’s Office, Golden State, The Apple Pan or one of hundreds of other places, everyone has their favorite burger joint in this city. My favorite is Umami Burger. Named after the Japanese term for a pleasant savory taste believed to be the fifth basic taste (in addition to salty, sweet, sour and bitter), Umami Burger opened their flagship restaurant (pictured above) this week in The Grove, which is the twelfth location of the ubiquitous chain.

Having been a frequent customer at the original restaurant, I am not at all surprised by Umami Burger’s success. The food is across-the-board excellent and the basic hamburger has been elevated here to something extraordinary. The burgers are made from specially seasoned meat blends grilled rare (unless requested otherwise) and served with cheese and other toppings on signature Portuguese-style buns sweetened with milk and honey. My favorites are the spicy Hatch Burger (beef with four types of green chilies and house cheese) and the decadent Truffle Burger (beef with house-made truffle cheese and truffle glaze). There are also pork, turkey, veggie, and occasionally seafood burgers, with each location offering different specialty burgers such as the Carnitas Burger in Hollywood and the Baja Burger (tempura fried cod, crushed avocado, cabbage slaw, fire roasted salsa and chipotle lime aioli) in Hermosa Beach.

All the burgers are on the smaller size so I often order two or split an extra one with a friend. There is a restaurant policy of no substitutions, although you can delete toppings upon request. Umami Burger has amazing sides such as sweet potato fries and tempura onion rings, plus there are secret menu items including truffle cheese fries and cheesy tater tots. Most locations serve beer and wine, and some have a full bar. For dessert, there are ice cream sandwiches and delicious treats from Cake Monkey Bakery such as Cherry Almond Pie and a Peanut Butter & Marshmallow Cakewich.

The new flagship Umami Burger is located in The Grove at 189 The Grove Dr., Los Angeles (Mid-City). The original location is at 850 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles (Mid-City). There are other locations in Hermosa Beach, Studio City, Santa Monica, Los Feliz, Hollywood and Thousand Oaks. UPDATE: SGVers rejoice! Umami Burger is now in Pasadena at 49 E. Colorado Blvd. Their specialty burger is the Le Cordon Bleu Burger, named after Pasadena’s famous culinary school.

The Hatch Burger

The Hatch Burger


The Umami Burger

The Umami Burger


The Grove Truffle Burger

The Grove Truffle Burger


Truffled Poutine Burger

Truffled Poutine Burger


Truffle Cheese Fries from the secret menu

Truffle Cheese Fries from the secret menu


Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries


Cake Monkey Cherry Almond Pie

Cake Monkey Cherry Almond Pie


Umami Valli

Umami Valli



Umami Burger on Urbanspoon
Umami Burger on Urbanspoon
Umami Burger on Urbanspoon
Umami Burger on Urbanspoon
Umami Burger on Urbanspoon

Leave a Comment

Filed under Hermosa Beach, Hollywood, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Studio City, Thousand Oaks

Burger Battle!

In case you haven’t heard, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a hugely successful national chain which started in Washington DC, has come to conquer LA. In the world of fast food hamburgers and fries, Five Guys occupies the same space in the market that In-N-Out Burger has locally dominated for many decades; super-fresh, never frozen ingredients, fries made from potatoes cut in the restaurant and fried in trans fat-free oil, and burgers which are all cooked to order. As we all know, In-N-Out is a Southern California institution. It’s the object of many late-night cravings, the home of an awesome “secret menu” and hidden biblical verse references, as well as the place most frequently visited by LA vegetarians when they’re ready to start eating meat again for the first time. Is Five Guys better than In-N-Out? No, it’s not. But it is better than most other fast food burger restaurants.

The burgers at Five Guys, like In-N-Out, are really good. Five Guys even has several more choices for toppings than In-N-Out, including bacon, jalapenos and sauteed mushrooms. Five Guys also gives you free peanuts to munch on while you’re waiting for your food to be cooked. While I like both burgers a lot, I slightly prefer the burger at In-N-Out mainly because In-N-Out has much better buns. I love the fries at In-N-Out, but Five Guys also has great fries, and you can order Five Guys’ fries with cajun seasoning generously sprinkled on top! Unfortunately, I found the service at Five Guys to be less than stellar. They are not staffed with the uber-efficient yet exceedingly friendly, clean-cut kids that one always encounters when going to In-N-Out. The last time I was at Five Guys, after waiting about 20 minutes after ordering, I was given our burgers and unapologetically informed that they ran out of fries and we would have to wait another 20 minutes while they prepared a new batch. This would never happen at In-N-Out! Also, Five Guys in notably more expensive. So while Five Guys is definitely worth trying, I think In-N-Out has nothing to worry about.

Five Guys currently has locations in Culver City (at the Westfield Culver City Mall), Valencia, Carson (at the Southbay Pavillion) and Thousand Oaks; more locations are opening soon including Northridge, Mid-City and Downtown. In-N-Out is all over Southern California. UPDATE 12/10/11: Five Guys now also has locations open in Cerritos, El Segundo, Northridge, Whittier and Downtown. UPDATE 5/25/13: Five Guys now has additional locations in Long Beach, West Covina, Lakewood, Westwood, West Hollywood and Studio City.

Five Guys Burger


Five Guys Fries


Lots of bragging on the walls at Five Guys


In-N-Out: Still the Champion

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon
Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Carson, Avalon Blvd) on Urbanspoon
Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Cerritos Promenade) on Urbanspoon
Five Guys Burgers and Fries (USC W27th) on Urbanspoon
Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Valencia Town Center) on Urbanspoon
Five Guys Burgers and Fries (El Segundo) on Urbanspoon
Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Whittier) on Urbanspoon
In-N-Out Burger on Urbanspoon
In-N-Out Burger on Urbanspoon
In-N-Out Burger on Urbanspoon
In-N-Out Burger on Urbanspoon
In-N-Out Burger on Urbanspoon

7 Comments

Filed under Carson, Cerritos, Culver City, Downtown, El Segundo, Lakewood, Long Beach, Mid-City, Northridge, Studio City, Thousand Oaks, Valencia, West Covina, West Hollywood, Westwood