Matū (conceived by Jerry Greenberg, the man who brought us sugarFISH, UOVO, and HiHo Cheeseburger) arrives in Beverly Hills this week as the newest twist on the steakhouse in L.A. Using exclusively a purely grass-fed New Zealand hybrid angus and dairy cattle, raised at First Light Farms as wagyu cattle, the beef at Matū is an interesting mix of Japanese tradition and American steakhouse sensibilities, with a Kiwi tinge.
The ambiance is a dimly-lit edifice, featuring a large window to the open kitchen, with classic rock on low volume in the background.
The Matū Old Fashioned adds a maple syrup twist. I thought it was well-poured.
I chose the Wagyu Dinner ($79 per person), a five-course wagyu “omakase”, if you will. I added on two extra dishes also.
24-Hour Simmer Beef Bone Broth: Flavorful yes, but this doesn’t really drive home that knock-out punch that a bone broth should deliver. I would have expected more “richness” from wagyu broth.
Braised Beef Croquetas Served Over Celeriac Puree (add-on): Really great. Inventive and well-executed, these croquetas are marvels. The beef filling exudes a wondrous aroma of beef stew. Eat them while they’re warm. Reminds me of something I once had on a pintxos crawl in San Sebastian. Huge bite.
Hand-cut Wagyu Tartare with a Japanese Accent: I guess by “Japanese accent”, that meant the raw quail egg? This was quite good. Excellent portions, too - not overbearing.
Beef Tallow French Fries with Parsley (add-on): Delicious! Terrific fries. I had to restrain myself from gobbling too many of the fries and ruining my appetite for the later courses.
“47 Salad” (Baby Gems with a Savory Vinaigrette), Served with Ribeye Slices: The beef is perfectly done. Delightful!
8-Hour Braised Beef Cheek over Celeriac Puree: Another winner. Huge Bite. Though I was given a knife for this dish, the beef was actually so tender that a spoon could have cut through it.
Ribeye and Grilled Broccolini with Garlic & Red Pepper Flakes, Cooked Over the Wood Fire: Served thinly butterflied (a nod to Peter Luger?), and separated by cap (fattier) and costal cuts (leaner), this was a marvelously straightforward way to enjoy the wagyu.
The broccolini was fabulous as well…
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Sea Salt: Nice. A tad too sweet for me, but the chocoholics definitely won’t complain here.
Arturo’s Panna Cotta with Macerated Strawberries: A satisfying way to end the meal.
Service at Matū feels quite polished - Very impressive for its opening night. The reservations are already hard to come by, but bar seating is open for walk-ins (full menu available; first come, first serve). Some late night reservations (up to 10PM) still remain available for now. Pro-tip: If you choose not to valet the car, Beverly Hills street meter parking is free after 9pm on weekdays (but still, read those posted signs!).
Though unlike Japanese grain-fed wagyu cattle with its over-the-top richness, the grass-fed beef served at Matū imparts a pleasure all its own. The cooking method here also takes full advantage of this prized meat, and manages to extract its flavors to maximum effect. The hospitality is welcoming and warm. There is no tipping here - a mandatory 18% service fee is included with the check. Overall, Matū delivers an enjoyable meal at a very reasonable price.
239 S. Beverly Dr., Suite 100
Beverly Hills, CA 90212