This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Umami Burger's New Meatless 'Impossible Burger' Looks And Tastes Like The Real Thing
So, what do you do if you want to grab a burger, but your friend doesn't eat meat? Seems like an L.A. enough dilemma. Now, Umami Burger, the very L.A. burger chain, has a solution: the Impossible Burger.
The patties supplied by Impossible Foods—the Silicon Valley start-up that has Bill Gates, among others, as an investor—are 100% plant-based and vegan, but don't expect your momma's veggie patty. These burgers look, smell, and taste like the real thing. Eerily so, as we've said before. The patties even contain an ingredient that makes the faux-meat "bleed."
“What amazed me was how it browned and caramelized,” Gregg Frazer, COO of Umami Burger, told the Los Angeles Times. “It performed like real beef.”
The Impossible Burger arrives double-stacked (the first time the sight of a double-pattied burger doesn't give pause to your arteries) and topped with all the fixin's: miso mustard, Umami spread, pickles, caramelized onions, lettuce...and cheese.
Yes, the Impossible Burger is vegetarian, but not vegan. Even if you do go sans cheese, the bun, the sauce, and other parts of the burger contain animal-based products.
According to Eater LA, Umami intends the burger for bi-curious meat-lovers, not vegans.
The Impossible Burger patty was created entirely from plants making it vegan, yes, but it’s intent is for people who love meat, not vegans. It's a delicious option with sustainability benefits - using 95% less land, 74% less water and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions, while being 100% free of hormones, antibiotics, and artificial ingredients. While their standard preparation isn't vegetarian or vegan, it's easy to order it that way. We’d like to note, Umami Burger has never claimed that the Impossible Burger would be vegan, just the patty as created by Impossible Foods, is vegan.
Fair enough, as the founder of Impossible Foods has a similar sentiment. "We don’t want vegetarians to be our customers,” Pat Brown, Impossible Foods' founder and CEO, said, reports the Times. “The only way we can move the needle is by targeting meat-eating consumers.”
Well, dear reader, we'll leave the questions of ethics and sustainability in our food system for you to contemplate, but we will say that if the future is meatless, it is still delicious.
The Impossible Burger is $16, and is available at all Umami locations in Los Angeles.