Waiter-Free Dining? Umami Expands to the Grove and Westwood With "U-Mini"
Adam Fleischman is a busy man with seven Umami locations throughout California, the launch of Umamicatessen downtown and recent announcements of the chain's expansion to Westwood (this summer) and the Grove.
With the restaurateur's roots already established in Westwood Village, 800 Degrees opened in January with a Chipotle-style pizzeria concept. Fleischman's newest venture on Westwood Boulevard is "U-Mini," a test lab for Web and app ordering, tablet-only customer service and other "fine dining, fast food" elements, i.e., no waiters (good luck with complaints). By summertime, there will be three popular burger joints within a one-mile radius (Five Guys, In-N-Out, U-Mini).
Customers can order in advance and have food waiting for them on VerTerra, biodegradable, disposable dinnerware. The 1,200-square-foot space in Westwood Village will have 45 seats and the menu will be an edited version of the original with new test products.
The Grove also has posted a coming-soon announcement for Umami (in its traditional incarnation), which will arrive "before summer 2012". And it's rumored that three additional locations will pop up in Anaheim, Laguna Beach and Costa Mesa this year.
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