Here’s something that doesn’t come around every day: a tasting menu-focused restaurant that centers on 100 percent grass-fed Wagyu beef. The meaty dream becomes an actual reality starting Thursday with Matu (stylized as matū) in Beverly Hills, thanks to co-founder Jerry Greenberg and his team’s new five-course tasting menu.
Let’s start with the opening menu, which could be compared to a Japanese seafood omakase, but for steak. The Wagyu in question at Matu hails from New Zealand’s First Light Farms, and (at least for the tasting menu portion) is spread across a bone broth starter, a tartare, a steak seared on the plancha with salad, a braised beef course, and a steak cooked over the fire, with a vegetable side.
It’s important to note that the five-course menu changes every night, so options could include Wagyu beef bone broth one night and braised beef croquetas, hand-cut tartare, and eight-hour braised beef cheeks over a celeriac puree the next night. There’s also an a la carte menu portion available for one-off ordering or as add-ons to the tasting menu, with options like lobster tails and sides like maitake mushrooms and rich beef tallow french fries found there. The opening tasting menu is a reasonable $78, a price sure to assist in filling up reservations quickly. If a table isn’t available, the bar can accommodate diners as well as walk-ins. A full bar accompanies a wine list that includes bottles from Italy, California, France, New Zealand.
Greenberg (of Sugarfish, Uovo, HiHo Cheeseburger fame) is the lead behind Matu, while architect Marmol Radziner designed the former Panera space, turning the room into a 2,800-square-foot dim dining den with 60 seats; the kitchen and open fire can be viewed from every seat in the room. “We want people to eat [the steak] at its peak,” says Greenberg. “The design of the restaurant is to make sure that every single steak, once it’s ready to be served it’s run very quickly to the table.”
Greenberg’s partners are a familiar group with First Light Steak Club’s Lowell Sharron (also a partner in Uovo and HiHo) and Michael Odell, along with Hillstone Restaurant Group’s Ryan Gianola and Steak author Mark Schatzker, and former private chef Scott Linder. A spokesperson says Greenberg, Gianola, Linder, and Odell developed the menu, while Linder runs everything food-related and the kitchen. Hours for Matu at 239 S. Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills are from 5:30 p.m. with a final seating at 10 p.m. daily.