Thursday, April 23, 2009

The MOS Burger Re-Creation Project Update - 2.5

Not a whole lot to report here since my last update except that I finally stumbled on some online information on the trivia of how MOS Burger (both the company and the burger) was inspired by Tommy's in Los Angeles. The Japanese article on here and the same page in a very quirky automated translation by google here.

Inspired by Tommy's Chili yet concerned that it would not be accepted entirely in Japan due to the spices (and I would also guess its heaviness), MOS founder Mr. Sakurada had started the quest of his burger's meat sauce with a base used for spaghetti pasta that the Japanese were already very familiar with. After countless trial and errors his final version that included ingredients such as Miso was something that retained a "chili image" yet had flavors suitable for Japanese tastes.

(A burger worth waiting for?)

(image: flickr - JM Rocher)

Yes you heard it right! Another satisfying confirmation was that my guess of Miso being used as a hidden ingredient was correct. Actually it was my father that first pointed out his suspicion to me when we ate at MOS during our ritual Sunday walks into town. (I was around 7 or so.)

Decided to revisit Tommy's in Clairemont a few weeks ago as to witness again Mr. Sakurada's inspiration..

By now we know the Chili on a Tommy's only visually resembles the MOS' meat sauce but with fresh eyes the burger's similarities were almost eerie! Both have no lettuce but instead a thick slice of fresh tomato. Additional genes from the Tommy's passed on were the fresh chopped onions and nice mustard spread bite. No pickles on a MOS though. No need for the acidity because they're not dealing with a heavy Chili.

Mr. Sakurada's inspiration of Tommy's went further than the burgers where his witnessing of the seemingly unending demand for them at the original Beverly and Rampart location left him with a life lasting impression. I remember when I visited the locale many years ago myself it seemed no matter how late at night it was, every inch of the iron griddle was always completely occupied with sizzling burger patties.

So you can say I was glad to see the San Diego store receiving a lot of love this day. The place was pretty full. I also witnessed two rugged looking men enter with steel toed shoes and tool belts where one with the Levi's overalls clapped his hands once, looked over to the menu above the cashiers and said.. "IT'S.. TOMMY TIME!" This totally gave me a smile.

I probably know what you're thinking about the photo above.. "That's a lot of ketchup!" Yes I love ketchup (particularly Heinz) but it is as much for the chili as it is for the fries I tell you. And this Chili I noticed was available for take out now.

Somehow this led to some daydreaming while having my meal.... If MOS ever served a Meat Sauce Boat.. *gasp*

How I actually would totally order one! :)

Tommy's Original World Famous, 7415 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111


Saint said...

I like chili on hot dogs, but I've never had it on a burger, that would be interesting to try!

Sadly I couldn't finish my Mos burger when I tried it because it had mayo on it, even though I explicitly told my ex-bf I can't eat mayo (he ordered for me)

Dennis K. said...

Oh no you're like many of my friends.. Not liking mayo in Japan is like being a vegetarian in the midwest.. I feel for you! The chili at Tommy's is an in interesting smooth blend. Just don't wear your favorite shirt! ;)

Saint said...

I know what you mean! It's rather difficult to dodge the mayo in Japan. However I hate mayo the most on burgers and sandwiches so I don't always have to be on guard haha.

Neil said...

Hi - thanks for the posts. I have been aiming for the same, and have got fairly close for the spicy mos cheeseburger! My suace is similiar to yours - it goes like:

- take 15 salad tomatoes, fry in olive oil until rendered.
- sieve tomato to create a pasata
- finely dice two medium white onions, fry until soft and add pasata
- cook for 10 mins and then add 1 tablespoon of mirin, 1 tblspn of sugar, a teaspoon of soy sauce and a desert spoon of miso

Serve on a burger (lean beef, grated cheddar, olive oil, salt, black pepper - mixed), with cheese, finely chopped white onions and jalapeno peppers (as per any picture of a mos buger)


Neil said...

Ooops, I forgot to add that after sieving the tomatoes, I added a cube of Oxo beef stock to the sauce - I would recommend between half and 1 cube....

Dennis K. said...

Hi Neil! Thanks for commenting.. And I'm super happy that there are other people out there with similar obsessions. I've been trying to nail the basic MOS Burger in its purest form. I agree I'd imagine the beef bullion to be important. I haven't tried the frying/sieving method but it makes a lot of sense. Like no tomatoes to flash poach and peel skins! I've been trying to use store bought ingredients not so much for cheating but to try to get closer to that hard to describe factory simmer flavor. Every time I try with 100% fresh ingredients, the flavors are way to bright. Anyhow you've inspired me to retry this again soon. I got fairly close last time but it's all relative I guess.. :)

edjusted said...

Oh cool, I had no idea there was a connection. I'm not a huge chili fan but I really miss MOS burgers.