I waited for a while to do this recommendation of the fifth Umami Burger to see if it continued to be worthy. Yes, it is still trendy and yes, there still is always a wait.
The new “Valli” (a cute play on words) location follows the trend of the earlier locations with each having its own unique feel and look. Valli has a fancier feel with its marble-topped bar and tables, crystal chandeliers, and a full bar. It is also open until 2 a.m. daily. And each Umami location has different items on the menu.
I would strongly recommend starting with the house pickles. Well worth $5 for an assortment of various pickled vegetables from okra to beets to various cucumbers. Some are packed with delicious heat.
As for the burgers, umami burgers are quite tasty and different in a good way. I will not go into the meaning of umami, which can be read about elsewhere. The burgers are just the right size, not too small and not too big so you can enjoy some sides.
Each of the burgers is different. My favorites at Valli are the truffle burger, which has homemade truffle cheese and truffle oil, and the Umami burger, which has a unique taste with its fried parmesan, homemade ketchup, grilled onions and grilled Portobello mushroom. There is a nice selection of draft beers, including the hard to find locally and delicious Goose Island Matilda from Chicago.
The sides worth ordering include the sweet potato fries, the smushed potatoes (Dutch Yellow Creamers double fried and slightly mushed), and the tempura onion rings. For desert there are Cake Monkey treats.