Sep 172013
Umami Burger 338 S Anaheim Blvd Anaheim, CA 92805 (714) 991-8626

The Manly Burger

Umami Burger
338 S Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 991-8626


DecorI’ve heard great things about this chain for at least the past six months and just recently learned that there was one near my office so I decided to grab lunch there yesterday.

Figuring that they would be busy during lunch, I arrived there fairly early (around 11:15) and I was glad I did.. Parking is very limited. Fortunately I scored a spot on the street so there was no problem there. Again, I’m glad I went early.

The decor of the eatery was pretty cool; a nice juxtaposition of rustic and contemporary. If and when you go there, ask someone the story behind all the license plates. It was pretty interesting and what they did with them really appealed to me visually.

The menu was easy to read and it definitely is not voluminous. They have a handful of burgers and other mains, a couple starters and a limited sides, all with a few options. I found the brevity of the menu quite refreshing and it made choosing my selections nice and easy.

Now for the food. I opted for the “Manly Burger” (beer-cheddar cheese, smoked salt-onion strings, bacon lardon) and their thin cut fries “smothered” in shredded short ribs and gravy.

Thin cut french fries smothered in shredded braised spare rib meat and a thick country gravy.

Thin cut french fries smothered in shredded braised spare rib meat and a thick country gravy.

I will start with the burger. The burger was good, but not the best I have eaten. Don’t get me wrong, the patty was cooked to a nice mid-rare as I requested and it was somewhat flavorful. I was hoping for a strong pork flavor from the lardons (deep fried, thick cut pork belly), but they fell short of expectation. The cheese was lost in the mix as well. Worst of all, found the burger way on the small side for the price ($11.00). One thing that did stand out was the breaded onion strings. They seemed to be the star of the show. They have a couple other burgers that I have to try, and hopefully at least one of them will live up to the hype and warrant the price.

Umami serves thin cut fries ($3.50) and for an additional charge ($3.00) they smother them with shredded short ribs and a thick gravy. My first bite was somewhat lack luster, but as I ate more the flavors became more apparent. Then, about half way through, the peppery notes started to kick in, elevating the flavor profile to a whole new level. As you can tell, I really liked the fries and will definitely have them again. Today, they ended up being the highlight of my meal.

Overall I loved the fries, thought the burger was decent, but not great and with the total bill, including tip, coming to $23.00 I found the place to be way over priced, especially for a lunch!



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May 062013
Aug 022012

Well, it has been 41+ years in the making and today it happened. I purchased something I’ve wanted far many, many years… My first banjo.

As I mentioned, I’ve wanted a banjo for quite a few years and have wanted to learn to play one even longer so last weekend I ordered one from Paul over at the Banjo Hut. After talking to Paul for a bit, I told him what I was looking for and  he recommended three different banjos. Even though it was a more expensive, after I did some research,  I ended up going with the Recording King. It is made with better quality materials and had upgraded tuning pegs, a nicer bridge and a much better neck. It also had a deeper, louder sound than the other two models. Anyway, I ordered it last weekend and the guys at the Hut did the set-up and got it shipped out Monday. Since it was shipping from Tennessee, I expected it to arrive on Friday, August 3rd. Imagine my surprise when I saw FedEx dropping a large box at our front office around noon today!

Once it was confirmed that it actually was my new banjo inside that big box, I placed a call to one of the guys I was considering taking lessons from and asked if he had any openings tomorrow. Unfortunately, his Friday was booked, but he did have a 2:30 open today. I told him I would take it. A couple hours later I was knocking on Andy Rau’s front door. Andy’s been playing the banjo for over thirty years and he has a pretty laid back teaching style. Although I plan on trying out a couple other instructors, I have a pretty strong feeling that I will be continuing learning from him. Not only is he a player and an instructor, he is also a Deering Teaching Artist so if you are looking for a new ‘jo and want to buy from someone local, give Andy a call (714.528.9765) or drop him a line ( And be sure to tell him that Brian sent you!

The lesson went a little better than I expected, but it is frustrating when I can’t just pick something up and be good at it from the get-go. Still, Andy said I did fairly well and is confident that I will pick up on the banjo easily enough.. In other words, with practice it will come. I did manage to make it through the entire lesson page in the allotted hour, which is (according to Andy) better than some. I recorded the lesson so at some point over the next couple days I will load it into the computer and give it a listen and judge for myself just how I did.

Below you will find a few more photos of my new ‘jo. I look forward to bringing you all along on my musical journey.

Apr 082012

I’m selling my 2008 Jeep Sahara. It currently has 50,225 miles on it and it is in great running order. The title is clean. I inherited the Jeep about a year ago and from what I understand it was in an accident. I don’t know any details, but it was repaired and it looks and drives like it was new. The inside is clean and the carpeting is in good condition. There are some scratches on the fenders and a couple on the hood (see pictures below). It is a soft top and the top is structurally sound (it does not leak.) To the best of my knowledge the Jeep has been driven mostly on country roads and freeways. It has been on a few dirt roads, but never has it been “off roading.”  The sound system is factory, but sounds nice. It has a 6 disc CD changer, AUX port, and is Sirius ready. It also has a sub-woofer, heater and AC which works great.

I have to admit, if I didn’t already have another 4×4 I wouldn’t be selling the Jeep. She’s a lot of fun to drive and she is begging to have a few mods.. Larger tires, upgraded suspension, etc. It’s a great California car and with summer coming up some one will enjoy driving her topless!


Feb 112012

I’m the only person I know that can sprain an ankle while standing still, barefoot and on level ground. I had one foot off the ground and shifted my weight. Next thing I know, I’m WATCHING my ankle roll over and find myself standing solely on the side of my foot.

Feb 092012

I have a brewery across from my office. These guys are constantly winning awards and our lot fills up every Friday afternoon when they open up and sell their wares. They just added the silo above and the red stripe was added today. Read more about them here.