Small Bites: Umami Burger (II) and Salaryman in Los Feliz; Raphael in Studio City; Philippe on Melrose
More Umami Burger: Umami Burger opened its second location Friday in Los Feliz, an Adam Fleischman-Steven Arroyo collaboration in the former Cobras & Matadors space on Hollywood Boulevard. The kokeshi-doll-accented restaurant serves the same roster of burgers as at its original La Brea Avenue location, including its signature Umami Burger (parmesan tuile, shiitake, special sauce, etc.), SoCal Burger and Manly Burger, among others. The adjacent Japanese beer bar is called Salaryman. 4655 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, www.umamiburger.com.
Coming to the Valley: Raphael is expected to open in Studio City this month. Owner Alon Raphael calls the 60-seater "fine dining casual, leaning more toward fine dining." Chef Stephen Burkalis, who had worked at the Water Grill in downtown Los Angeles, says the small menu (six or seven appetizers, nine entrees, six or seven desserts) is Japanese- , French- , Italian- and California-influenced. 11616 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 505-3337.
Melrose Avenue Chinese: High-end Chinese restaurant Philippe made its Melrose Avenue debut over the weekend in the former Dolce space, in all its red-white-and-black Deco-disco glory. Philippe already has restaurants in New York, Mexico City and Miami, with another on the way in Las Vegas. Signature dishes include satay, "Mr. Cheng's noodles" (hand-pulled noodles) and "nine seasons spicy prawns." The restaurant has attracted the wrath of Michael Chow (a.k.a. Mr. Chow), the former employer of Philippe co-owner Philippe Chow. Mr. Chow filed a lawsuit against Philippe in Los Angeles last month. 8284 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, www.philippechow.com.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo credit: Andy Lai / Philippe