Umami Burger to open in Laguna Beach in January

Now Laguna Beach foodies don't have to travel far up Coast Highway for a taste of Umami Burger — the Los Angeles-based burger restaurant is coming to town.

The restaurant plans to open a location at 610 N. Coast Hwy. in January, CEO and founder Adam Fleischman said.

Fleischman, who has a background in wine, applied his adoration for subtle flavors with his menu, which is focused on "umami," a Japanese word for the "fifth taste."

"When I was trying to exit the wine business I was looking for something else to do," he said. "I was looking for food that had a multilayer palette, like our burgers."

He liked the "umami" flavor enough that he decided to plan a business around it, opening his first restaurant in 2009.

The savory taste can be found in everything from mushrooms and anchovies to beef and seafood, he said.

Fleischman said he is excited about the Laguna Beach location, which will offer a distinctive look, feel and menu from his other six locations. It'll also have a full bar.

Each location is tailored to the city it's in. No two are alike, he said.

It will have a "nautical, yacht, ocean-liner type feel to it" and will serve unique burgers catered to Laguna Beach diners.

Besides Laguna Beach, three other locations are slated to open in Orange County. The company has formally announced Anaheim but has not yet released the names of the other two cities.

Fleischman said he and his partner, SBE Restaurant Group — which also owns Katsuya in Laguna Beach — were drawn to the small, cozy feel of the North Coast Highway location.

The fact that it's a stone's throw from the ocean isn't too bad either, Fleischman said.

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