If you happened past the busy restaurant intersection of Melrose and Highland over the weekend, you may have noticed a tiny valet stand across the street from the Mozzaplex. That stand was all the announcement being made about Umeda, an upscale Japanese restaurant offering from chef Takuya Umeda (previously a chef from Matsuhisa restaurant), and the gorgeous contents hidden inside its glassy walls.
Umeda lands at the corner of Melrose and Citrus Avenue, just steps west from Highland. It’s a tall, open space with lots of blonde wood touches, two- and four-tops, and a small wooden bar that looks into the open kitchen. Perhaps most interestingly is a water feature that is literally underfoot as you step into the space, letting guests peer through some thick glass to a babbling, rocky brook below. You won’t find that just anywhere along Melrose.
As for the menu, it’s a mix of Japanese hits that includes some sushi as well as a collection of small bites, each presented rather elegantly and with lots of wine and cocktails to back it up. There’s no menu online just yet, but you can likely expect one soon.
Last weekend’s service was just for friends and family, it seems, with a manager on site telling Eater that tonight will represent the first dinner session that’s open to the public. They aren’t taking reservations just yet, so it’s first-come, first-served if you’d like to check out the quiet new project. And yes, you’ll be able to valet your car.
Los Angeles, CA
Update: A previous version of this story indicated that the restaurant was operated by Nobu Matsuhisa, based on information told to Eater by members of the Umeda staff and others. In fact, Matsuhisa’s name remains on the active ABC license for the property as a manager, though he is likely not actively involved in the day to day operations.