Fish Tale

Austin's famed Uchi restaurant rolls out expansion to California

Austin's famed Uchi restaurant rolls out expansion to California

Uchi late night bite
Uchi is heading to LA. Photo by Logan Crable

As more Californians move to Austin daily, one famous Austinite is reversing the trend: James Beard Award-winning chef Tyson Cole is expanding his culinary empire to Los Angeles.

Known for bringing the first James Beard Award home to Austin with the opening of Uchi in 2003, Cole’s restaurant group, Hai Hospitality, has since expanded to include additional Uchi locations in Houston, Dallas, Denver, and Miami. Slated to open in 2023, the California outpost will be the group’s sixth Uchi location — the first on the West Coast.

“When we first opened Uchi, there were more than a few raised eyebrows about a Japanese fine-dining concept in Austin, a landlocked city known for tacos and barbecue,” Cole says in a release. “Cut to twenty years later and we are launching in a city known for its dynamic dining scene with no shortage of world-class Japanese concepts. I am really honored to bring Uchi to L.A.” 

Situated on Santa Monica Boulevard on the first floor of Nine Thousand One, the new location will nestle into a neighborhood at the intersection of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Los Angeles-based Ora design and architectural studios will lead design for the space, with a projected capacity of 180.

Opening in Los Angeles will set the stage for a new season of strategic expansion for the restaurant group, which has already seen great success at its first two out-of-state Uchi locations in Miami and Denver.

“Opening Uchi in Los Angeles signals an incredibly exciting time for Hai, especially after the great reception we received when we opened in Miami in 2021,” says Hai Hospitality CEO Tony Montero in the release. “To have concepts on both coasts represents an incredible moment for our group and our growth.”

In addition to the Uchi expansion, Hai Hospitality has recently opened an outpost of popular Asian smokehouse Loro in Houston. And closer to home, the brand plans to unveil a location of Japanese speakeasy Uchiba in downtown Austin this fall