Focused on the Culinary Art of Kaiseki, UKA Will Anchor the Revered JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Space with its New Permanent Restaurant Concept Opening in June
LOS ANGELES – June 8, 2023 – Elevating the art of kaiseki. In anticipated alignment with its five-year anniversary in Hollywood, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles announces the debut of UKA, a thoughtfully developed, new dining destination reimagining the acclaimed cultural center’s jewel box space perched high above Hollywood Blvd.
Set to open in its new permanent home within the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles space on June 8th, UKA introduces the kaiseki haute culinary tradition of a multi-course, intricate Japanese dinner to a modern-day palate with a refined omakase menu that seeks to capture a particular essence of time, place, and the very best of Japanese cuisine. At UKA, the kaiseki small plates tradition comes to life not only via the considered, interlocal menu but through the experience itself, conveying a delicate and memorable approach to quality, inspiration, and flavor, and engaging all of the senses along the way. It’s an homage to the beauty of Japanese culinary culture and its many facets and a voyage through its timeless customs. The name "UKA" was inspired by "Ukanomitama-no-Kami," the god of grain and fertility, who has been worshipped in Japan since ancient times.
UKA is at the helm of esteemed Chef Yoshitaka Mitsue and Chef Shingo Kato whose combined passion and careful precision have led them to the heights of the culinary world, with experience in Japanese restaurants from Tokyo to France to Osaka and beyond, alongside personal appointments as private chefs to the UN Ambassador for Japan in New York. The chef duo’s exquisite approach to interlocally foraged ingredients and accoutrements at UKA shines alongside their careful aging and curing methods of preparing premium fresh seafood that draws out the flavor of the fish, a revered nod to Chef Mitsue’s early training in the fish markets of Japan. Chef Kato’s background in the art of French cuisine also factors into the UKA experience, with distinct nods to the country’s revered culinary cultures and touchpoints found in everything from perfectly paired and delicate sauces to the house made desserts and pastries.
UKA features a nine-course prix fixe menu with signature dishes including a palate cleansing Dashi for the Five Senses, with dried bonito aged in Japan; a Savory Egg Custard with a creamy, yet light balance of Japanese Uni, egg yolk and fresh Japanese Wasabi, grated by hand tableside; a Grilled Beef dish featuring two types of Japanese beef, including an aged Washugyu beef ribeye steak and a Wagyu filet mignon, served with a French-influenced Burdock sauce; house made Hojicha cheesecake and ice cream, and more. Across the menu, particular attention is given to the selection of seasonal, premium fish, meat and vegetables from both Japan and California, served on accompanying tableware, such as “Shigaraki ware” and “Echizen lacquerware”, that evokes the kaiseki tradition through its careful attention to detail, material and pottery style. A reference guide on the restaurant’s website provides information on the provenance of the evolving ingredients and tableware’s origins, reminding the diner of the thoughtful consideration given to every element of their UKA experience. An accompanying wine and sake pairing is carefully curated by the restaurant’s wine and sake sommeliers, respectively.
Located at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles’ restaurant space, home to various restaurant pop-ups since its inception in 2018, UKA’s new permanent space features an intimate dining room and Chef’s counter accommodating up to 30 guests per seating. The 1,187 square foot space, designed by Ryu Kosaka, juxtaposes soft gray hues with warm, natural tones of wood in paneling, tables, and countertops, punctuated throughout by lantern-inspired lighting and bonsai tree and bamboo accents. Large windows allow for sweeping views from Hollywood to Downtown Los Angeles.
ABOUT JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles
JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs – London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo – conceived by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. It seeks to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan in the international community. Occupying two floors at Ovation Hollywood (formerly Hollywood & Highland), JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a place of new discovery that transcends physical and conceptual boundaries creating experiences that reflect the best of Japan through its spaces and diverse programs.
Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028