Do not—repeat, do not—read this entry aloud. The mere mention of Umami Burger can trigger a stampede among the Yelp crowd. The catnip is a secret house sauce that’s blended into the hand-formed, ground-on-premise burgers, adding a pinch of Japanese mysticism to the fast-casual chain’s specialty. It supposedly packs umami, a sixth, indeterminate taste in Asian lore. A hip ambience also is an intended lure for the dressed-in-black set.  

LocationLos Angeles, Calif.
2013 Systemwide Sales ($000)$37,400,000*
YOY Sales Change70.0%
2013 U.S. Units22
YOY Unit Change57.1%
2013 Average Unit Volume ($000)$2,100,000*
Future 50 Year2014

*Technomic estimate

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