L.A Chef, Ernesto Uchimura, Gears Up For National Burger Month


It’s almost May, which means that National Burger Month (May) and Day (28) are right around the corner and restaurants are gearing up to claim the honor of the best and/or craziest burgers in town. At Los Angeles’ Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, Executive Chef Ernesto Uchimura (formally the founding Chef of Umami Burger) is effectively shaping our perception of the classic hamburger with his modernist approach to inventive ingredients between the buns.

Uchimura’s signature accoutrements are his leathers—dehydrated squares of ketchup and sriracha—which recall the consistency of a fruit roll-up. Incorporating intriguing Asian accents to American classics, other house-made condiments include:

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  • Apricot and peach ketchup paired with the sweet potato fries or served on a burger by request
  • Soy truffle baste tops the Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger
  • Chlorophyll mayo served on the Shillelagh Burger (Wagyu beef patty, pastrami bits, green gruyere cheese, and lettuce)
  • Schmaltz onions and masa fried onions served on the Pastrami Gravy Fries and burgers like the Smokey Spicy PCB (Wagyu beef, habanero cheese, ketchup leather, mixed pickles, and bacon on a crunch bun)
  • Kumquat gastrique served on the Funky Chicken Burger (Jidori chicken, Jidori chicken liver paté, kumquat gastrique, wild baby arugula, chicken skin cracklins)