Harold Bloom has built a career out of exploring the notion of the incommensurate, and it is precisely this term that some of us would use to describe this week's Counter Intelligence story, in which Jonathan Gold compares Nathan Myrhvold's notion of the perfect hamburger with the one at Umami Burger. Your agon of influence joke here _____. Okay, yeah, maybe we need a hamburger right about now.

To make a hamburger, if you happen to be Nathan Myhrvold, you grind short rib meat so that the fibers of the meat are all facing the same way, you carefully form your patty so that the grain is vertically aligned, wrap it in plastic and cook it, unsealed, in a 130-degree water bath for half an hour. Then you unwrap the meat, dunk it in liquid nitrogen for 30 seconds and deep-fry.

Read the complete story in Gold's Counter Intelligence, “Umami Modernism: How Nathan Myhrvold and the popular burger chain go hand in hand,” and check out Anne Fishbein's photo gallery. Then, probably, get in your car.

LA Weekly