UKA, a Japanese restaurant located in JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles’ Level 5 space, opened its doors in June 2023 and features a nine-course omakase kaiseki prix fixe menu by chefs Yoshitaka Mitsue and Shingo Kato. Chef Mitsue and Chef Kato invites guests to experience Japan through all five senses, and helps make traditional kaiseki cuisine easy to understand with their detailed explanations during the dining experience at UKA.
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About the Chefs
Born in Imari, Japan, Yoshitaka Mitsue first honed his skills in traditional Japanese cuisine in Osaka where he worked in kappo restaurants (a style of open-kitchen, multi-course meal originating in the Kansai region, similar to kaiseki), as well as seafood specialty establishments. From 2007-2014, he opened and ran his own popular chef’s table-style restaurant called Suzaku in Kobe, before moving to New York City to become the Chef de Cuisine at the official residence of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations.
After two terms entertaining world leaders and VIPs in this high-profile role, in 2017 he received the Minister of Foreign Affairs Award as the Outstanding Chef of the Official Residence. In 2020, he moved to Strasbourg, France, to take up his third appointment as Chef at the official residence of the Consul General of Japan, where he continued to refine his style of washoku (traditional Japanese food), with a special focus on handling bespoke menus for all types of diners, as well as elevating the sensory and seasonal aspects of fresh seafood.
Shingo Kato was born in Zushi, Japan in 1988, and early on, followed his love of cooking to culinary school at the Tokyo Seishin Technical College for Cooking. After graduation, he became an assistant professor and taught for six months before joining Tokyo’s historic Imperial Hotel Co. as a chef of French cuisine. As a rising star at age 24, he was selected to be the chef at the first official residence of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations in New York and moved to the United States in 2013. He was well-received for his ...
technical skills in French cuisine, from appetizers to desserts. At the same time, he discovered a deeper fascination with Japanese cuisine by supporting the Japanese chef who had arrived at the official residence with him. After completing his term of service in 2016, he returned to the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, until departing in 2019 to take up a new post as the official chef of the Embassy of Japan in Latvia. In 2021, Chef Kato made another return tour to the Imperial Hotel’s Parkside Diner, where until early 2023 he continued to entertain guests from around the world, specializing in presenting elegant French expressions while utilizing traditional Japanese techniques.