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Yo, Umami! Times Resto-Blogger On The Fifth Beatle of Food

Ambience, food, price, service: the Fab Four of the restaurant world. Which is the cute one, which is the quiet one and which one's the walrus? NY Times blogger Bruce Buschel went in search of answers and came away unsatisfied. Seems everyone at his dinner party/focus group had a differing opinion on which element is the key to an eatery's success. Call it a restaurant Rashomon.
Connecting the dots between the local coffee shop and The French Laundry, Buschel realizes that prosperity in the restaurant world isn't decided by one thing, but "a hundred small things" and one word: umami. It's "the fifth flavor in food, the untranslatable Japanese word that means “delicious” or “pungent” or “essence” or “gimme more." Luckily for East End diners, Buschel came to this realization now, with very little help from his friends.
· The Four Basic Elements of Dining (and Umami, too) [NYTimes]
· The Resto-Blogger's Start-Up Chronicles [Curbed Hamptons]