U-Order

Umami goes fast food

"Welcome to the future."

So went our welcome to U-Mini, Westwood's new fast-food-style burger spot from Adam Fleischman. Our greeter was a smiling woman with an upswept punk-meets-Jetsons beehive shot through with hypercolor streaks, who patiently showed us how to place our order on the wall-mounted iPad. 

We were there for a bag full of greasy burgers, but this was no drive-through customer-service or ordering experience–"the future," indeed.

The difference between visiting U-Mini and, say, In-N-Out is important on another level, too: While this is a cheaper, quicker and more approachable burger spot, it is not, nor is it trying to be, a classic fast-food restaurant.

If you take U-Mini at face value, the burgers are quite satisfying–especially for $6 apiece. The Dad's Burger, with its caramelized onions and hard-seared patty, is the most Umami-like of the offerings, but the vinegary kick provided by the mustard smeared on the Vintage Burger made it our favorite. There's also a vegetarian mushroom-based patty, and another beef burger topped with avocado, roasted tomatoes and Manchego.

And no matter which burger you order, know that the spongy buns, which are very lightly toasted, are excellent.

U-Mini, 1131 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; 310-943-8626 or umami.com