Umami Burger's Adam Fleischman Wants To Serve You A Better PB&J
Do you ever bemoan the pressures and responsibilities of adult life? Wish you could time-warp back to the days of footsie pajamas and Saturday morning cartoons? Adam Fleischman gets you.
Fleischman, who founded both Umami Burger and 800 Degrees Pizza, is bringing his latest concept to downtown's Grand Central Market: PBJ.LA.
"PBJ.LA is not your mom's peanut butter and jelly," Fleischman noted in a statement. "PBJ.LA takes something that was already great and makes it exponentially better with surprising, absolutely delectable mash-ups of flavors and organic, healthy ingredients."
Is it possible to radically improve on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, something so simple in its greatness? PBJ.LA serves up items like the Old Fashioned (a pb&j styled after the classic whiskey drink, which uses salted pecan butter and apple jam as its base, with Angostura bitters and orange zest on top) and the Italian (toasted pine nut butter and herb tomato jam base, with arugula, cheese, and oil and vinegar) as their argument.
"The more out-there flavors aren't even out yet," Fleischman told LAist. Pistachio butter sandwich, anyone? "We're going to be changing up the sandwiches too, and the sides." Those sides are currently purple Hawaiian potato (or Okinawa potato) chips.
Ultimately, the sandwiches taste just as you remember (hoped?): a pocket of soft, crustless, white bread, surrounding a a flavorful center. Try the the Old School (peanut butter with either grape or strawberry jam) or the New School (almond butter with strawberry jam) for gooey sweetness. Or the Red Eye for a kick of espresso (via Bulletproof Coffee) in the peanut butter with the added complexity of dark chocolate raspberry jam.
A custom-made hand-press machine removes the crust and seals the sandwich. The flying saucer-like outcome befitting of the stall's space age design—clean, white minimalism accented by purple lights.
And to wash everything down? Housemade, organic almond milk drinks in flavors like peruvian cacao and vanilla lavender are on hand. Just as your
Silver Lake Shaman mother would approve.
PBJ.LA will soft open Saturday, with daily hours running 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
PBJ.LA is located at 317 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.