Neither sweet, sour, salty nor bitter, umami is a Japanese word used to describe a mouthwatering category that transcends humanity’s four basic taste sensations.
It is also the name of an enormously successful Los Angeles burger joint-turned-national franchise, Umami Burger, that is reimagining this savory domain with a brand new restaurant concept.
ChocoChicken marks the latest venture from Umami Burger founder and culinary entrepreneur Adam Fleischman.
And in true umami fashion, flavor combinations such as white chocolate mashed potatoes, dark chocolate ketchup -- and, the star of the show, chocolate fried chicken -- are likely to get tongues wagging.
By pushing the boundaries of taste, Fleischman’s burgers -- composed of succulent beef and umami-rich truffles and cheeses, topped with airy-sweet brioche buns -- eventually spawned 19 locations across California as well as restaurants in Florida, New York and Las Vegas.
“It’s creating a new taste, but it’s also playing with psychology,” Fleischman told The New York Times of his culinary philosophy. “We want to play with that psychology and give [people] something that doesn’t taste like what they think it’s going to taste like.”
Though the seminal recipe is secret, Fleischman explained that the chicken is steeped in a chocolate marinade, dipped in chocolate flour and patted down with a rub including 17 spices over the course of roughly 24 hours. Keith Previte, a chef, conceived the recipe and brought it to Fleischman.
ChocoChicken is slated to open in downtown Los Angeles next month.