The Guy Who Brought You Umami Burger Wants to Reinvent PB&J

The sandwiches are meant to be simultaneously nostalgic and forward-leaning

Adam Fleischman, the man who brought us Umami Burger, is holding a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sitting on a chair in front of downtown Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market. It is not the PB&J of your childhood, but rather an enclosed disk that looks remarkably like something from Area 51. The sandwich, and a fleet of others built and branded like them, is Fleischman’s latest project: a new empire of nostalgia-driven, high-concept food that will, early next month, arrive in the form of a sleek sandwich at the Grand Central Market stall. First stop, the 100-year-old food court. Then, if all goes according to plan, the world.

That kind of hyperbole is normal in Fleischman’s realm, and given the wild success of the burger empire he founded in 2009 — a brand harnessed to a deeply addictive, absurdly flavor-jammed hamburger — it is hard not to play along. Fleischman’s talent is that of the pitchman, and what he slides across the counter is meant to be wrapped not just in paper but also in comfort, convenience, even archetype. PBJ.LA, as the nascent sandwich business is called, is a branded delivery mechanism as much as it is a food stall.

To read more about PBJ.LA, head over to The Los Angeles Times.