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Umami Burger Expands to Japan, Peace Descends on Republique, and More A.M. Intel

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Plus more on Smorgasburg, and Picca turns five

Picca, Los Angeles
Picca, Los Angeles
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Umami Burger jumps to Japan

Longstanding LA burger chain Umami Burger is heading to Japan, with news that the brand will set up nearly a dozen locations over the next five years. It’s a full-circle move for Adam Fleischman and his team, who originally conceived of Umami as an exploration of the Japanese flavor concept all those years ago.

A look inside Lazy Brewing

Take a gander inside Lazy Brewing, the Downtown coffee newcomer that has set up shop inside the Historic Core. Owner Jiniee Yoo speaks with Sprudge about all things coffee, Downtown, and beyond.

Republique has some mighty big fans

Not only are there droves and droves of adoring fans for Republique on La Brea, it seems that some of those fans are mighty big themselves. Case in point, the 6'7" former Laker Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest), who stopped by and got snapped with Walter and Margarita Manzke themselves.

Ayara Thai’s popsicle partnership

Westchester’s Ayara Thai is partnering up with the Emerson Ave. Community Garden or some sweet frozen Thai popsicles to help you beat the heat this summer. The new initiative launched yesterday and will start with a watermelon-mint option that’s handed out free to customers who are then encouraged to donate to the community garden as they see fit.

What to eat at Smorgasburg

Assuming you braved the heat on Sunday for some Smorgasburg debut action, you were rewarded with amazing food from dozens and dozens of vendors of all kinds. Here, LA Weekly has detailed just what to expect — and which vendors to focus on — for those upcoming (and hopefully cooler) Sunday Smorgasburg sessions in Downtown.

Another bean-to-bar chocolate maker in LA

Looks like the Mast Brothers aren’t the only ones in Los Angeles competing in the so-called ‘bean to bar’ chocolate movement anymore. Relative newcomer Marsatta Chocolate has opened up a tasting room of sorts down in Torrance, with plans to serve full chocolate bars, truffles, and (eventually) hot and cold drinks. 4604 Del Amo Blvd., Torrance.

Picca turns five

Peruvian mainstay Picca has managed to cross the half-decade mark, and to celebrate the restaurant will be doling out drinks and sweets for free this coming Saturday. What’s more, chef Tomas Espinoza has created a $55 family style meal (in addition to the usual Picca menu) for anyone who wants to come in and eat their way around some of Picca’s favorite dishes. The expanded menu runs from June 25 to 30.