There’s a fresh new restaurant coming to the first floor of Jason Pomeranc’s Sixty Beverly Hills next week. The incoming Ella, designed by Austin Melrose, features a handful of moving parts, including a daytime cafe, wine shop, and dinner menu, along with cocktails and music as the evening draws on. That energy shouldn’t be surprising, considering this newcomer is the work of the Umbrella Hospitality Group, the LA-based crew that is now expanding into already-busy Beverly Hills.
When first touring the property, the group — known for spots like Melrose Umbrella Co., the Corner Door, and Lono — wasn’t sure the Umbrella style would connect with Beverly Hills locals. The corner hotel is adjacent to mostly spas, office spaces, residences, condos, and apartments, with retail shops and restaurants further on. Rather than push too far outside the box, the team designed Ella to appeal directly to nearby residents and hotel guests, while also hopefully drawing in curious folks from a bit further east, where dining and cafe options aren’t as plentiful.
“What we do with Umbrella, it’s got a Prohibition feel, but a big thing for us was making it super open with barn doors and open to the neighborhood,” says Melrose. “Anyone can come in and explore.”
Umbrella Hospitality Group owners Zachary Patterson and Melrose brought on chef Brian Min to develop the menu. Min’s appetizers include a charred eggplant dip, focaccia with elderflower honey and black truffle butter, kumamoto oysters, and glazed duck wings. There’s a section dedicated to fresh California produce, while the pasta dishes appeal to just about any diner (except maybe the gluten-free) with a bucatini pomodoro, and an orecchiette with fennel sausage, broccoli rabe, tomato confit, and anchovy. When weaving into entrees, Min’s dry-aged grilled branzino, a roasted half-chicken, and tomahawk steak will please a crowd, along with thin-crust pizza from a custom oven.
Ella, which means “goddess” in Hebrew, has room for 120 diners, with a front section like a middle garden room and booth seating very similar to the former 101 Coffee Shop, along with a back dining room as well. The interior is bright and cozy thanks to moving the coffee machine and outdoor seating towards the front, introducing multiple seating and lounge areas to accommodate any kind of mood. The space caters to everyone from laptop workers and those in need of caffeine to those who want a power dinner or cocktails.
As expected with any Umbrella project, cocktails will be an essential focus at Ella. Patterson and Dorian De Tappan created a menu that’s got a contemporary spin on classic drinks like the kimchee bloody Mary or an Ella old-fashioned. Along with Ella’s opening, the Sixty’s rooftop has a new look and name called the Umbrella Social Club with its own signature drinks while the rooftop pool is known as Umbrella Swim Club.
Ella’s coffee bar operates from 7 a.m. to noon, followed by dinner reservations beginning at 5 p.m., then moving onto entertainment in the later hours. The Bottle Shop will have natural wines, and diners that purchase a bottle can waive the corkage fee if they gift a glass to a stranger in the restaurant. Reservations are required on the rooftop, so secure them at Resy. Something will be open at all times,” says Melrose.
“What we want to do is bring the backyard of Los Angeles closer to Beverly Hills,” says Melrose. “And use a bunch of influences that Brian grew up learning and working with, but also the things that Zach and I love, to [bring] a little sample of LA to Beverly Hills.” Ella opens on February 10.