Umami Burger is giving New York City another go. The 2013-era burger sensation, which once had four locations in NYC, is going all in on a new concept called Umami Prime, an all-day American restaurant in the Le Méridien hotel off Central Park.
Umami Prime, at 120 West 57th Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, will be headed up by chef Nate Appleman, late of Chipotle, who’s now the chief operations officer for Umami. He’s put together a trendy menu that starts at breakfast with juices and smoothies, cashew milk porridge and overnight oats, and breakfast burgers. Lunchtime brings more of those burgers — the item Umami built its name on, for their multiple added umami-packed powders, sauces, and sprays — as well as fried chicken, salads, and rice and grain bowls. Dinner is more where the “prime” part of the name comes into play, with raw fish dishes and American wagyu steaks.
Umami Burger started in Los Angeles and opened in NYC in 2013 to much fanfare, causing the company — now owned by hospitality group SBE, which also owns several José Andrés concepts — to open four additional locations. But the popularity was short-lived, and Umami shuttered three of the four by 2018, though 27 remain outside NYC. Since then, it’s regrouped and brought on Appleman to create the Prime concept. The idea is to open over 100 Umami Burgers across the world in the next seven years.
The group is focusing on making this a more upscale offering, with prominent designer David Rockwell work ing on the 4,900-square-foot space that will have over 130 seats. SBE is also opening cocktail bar Privilege on the rooftop of the hotel.
Umami Prime is set to land in NYC in spring 2020. Stay tuned for more.
Correction: October 16, 2019, 1:44 p.m. This article was corrected to show that Umami Burger shuttered three of four locations, not four of five, some due to leasing issues.