In the age old power struggle of hot dog vs hamburger, Umami Burger finally throws a bone to wieners. Umami Burbank, the 17th location of the ubiquitous chain, has all of the eatery’s usual hamburger offerings, but also specializes in hot dogs. The inspiration for this frankfurter focus is Umami Burbank’s locale, the former digs of Papoo’s Hot Dog Show, a Burbank/Toluca Lake institution that shuttered a couple years ago after a 62-year run.
Just like Papoo’s, Umami Burbank offers seven different hot dogs and a specialty burger called the Show Burger. These dogs have a lot in common with Umami’s signature burgers: a delicious proprietary blend of meats, a brioche bun sweetened with milk and honey, and many of the same delicious toppings. Hot dog versions of Umami burger specialities include the Truffle Dog, the spicy Hatch Dog and my favorite, the Manly Dog with beer-cheddar cheese, minced bacon, onion strings, house ketchup and mustard spread. And if you’re looking for something entirely new, check out the tasty Chili Dog or the gourmet corn dog called “The Burb.”
In further tribute to Papoo’s, Umami Burbank retained much of its building’s exterior, as well as some of the interior’s mid-century design, which it classed up with a chandelier, tufted leather booths and bar stools, damask wallpaper and large framed photographs of large dogs. There’s also a nice patio to dine in when it’s not a thousand degrees outside; perfect for that low-key pitch meeting with an exec from nearby Warner Bros., NBC Universal or Disney.
Umami Burbank is located at 4300 W. Riverside Drive in Burbank.