Hot dogs and ice cream: They’re not just for backyard barbecues anymore. Two new Burbank eateries have elevated the simple summertime treats to new heights.
The Umami Burger chain of restaurants has certainly been written about before. But what you may not know is that the newest location in Toluca Lake is trying something new. They’ve quirkily updated the bygone Papoo’s Hot Dog Show, adding chandeliers to the old Western theme and paying homage to the shop’s predecessor by offering a line of umami hot dogs. These creations are multiple layers of umami taste.
Umami is purported to be the fifth taste, engaging a mouth receptor that distinguishes meaty, earthy flavors. Think of sauteed wild mushrooms on grilled steak. Texture and a feeling of mouth fullness may play a role, but umami is strictly a neuronal appreciation of glutamates.
I think I’m missing the umami receptor or maybe I’m an umami super-taster, because I found these hot dogs unpleasant. The mouth feel was very fatty to me. I like crunchy raw onions or cold Thai slaw on my frankfurters. My male dining companions loved the hot dogs. I mean, really loved them.