Little Osaka's Plan Check seemed to go from construction to completion in record time, but is certainly no worse the wear for its quick-fire debut. The glass-box gastro-pub looks sharp, relieving a neighborhood whose one stroll-to nightlife option is Max Karaoke down the street. Long communal tables stand central in a spacious room sharing both open kitchen and bar, patio stuck to the outside. A hand-painted menu pops off the wall, on which Umami Burger's co-founding corporate executive chef, Ernesto Uchimura, saturates every bite with the kind of hedonism any husky appetite should drool over, not to mention an alluring price point that finds the most expensive dish priced at $16.
He stacks house-made pig candy onto a burger of Akaushi red wagyu and smoked blue cheese, stuffs a turnover with bone marrow in a short rib pot roast, makes boneless fried Jidori wade in smoked gravy, and nods to Japan with a rock shrimp tempura-topped rock fish wavering in bonito flakes. Even charcuterie varies from L.A.'s archetypical gastro-scene, with selections like red wine chipotle beef jerky and venison salami. Plan Check should be a smash for Sawtelle and a welcome addition for diners seeking respite from ramen and low-priced while trolling Little Osaka.
Take a look at some of Echimura's maxed-out U.S. comfort eats, cocktails by Steve Livgni and Pablo Moix, and sleek space in our slideshow look into Plan Check, opening this Wednesday at 1800 Sawtelle Blvd.