The views at Yamashiro are unquestionably some of the best in all of LA. Perched 250 feet above Hollywood Blvd, Yamashiro offers their guests a 360 degree view of Los Angeles. It is the perfect place to grab your sweet heart for a romantic night out.
What makes Yamashiro so special is that it was built in 1914 and has its fair share of historical architecture, like the 600 year old Pagoda brought in from Japan. It has also served as Hollywood elite's stomping ground. It's even been rumored that during the Roaring Twenties, starving actresses were available at Yamashiro to hire for the evening. Yamashiro has also made its mark in Hollywood by being used as filming location for productions such as Memoirs of a Geisha, Gone in 60 Seconds, and Blind Date.
The drinks at Yamashiro, specifically the Koi bowls, are fun and notably a show stopper. I went with the Tokyo Tea. It was tasty and I loved the huge pieces of pineapple garnish in it.
For starters I had the Salt & Pepper Fried Calamari. This is served with a ginger tomato sauce. I liked that it was quite different from the usual marinara sauce that normally comes with calamari. This is still a good appetizer to share for a group.
The BBQ Duck Confit Fried Spring Roll, this was light and crispy.
As for their sushi, I do want to mention that I almost on every occasion will ask the waiter to bring me a side of sesame oil and jalapenos with my sushi. I did not have the desire to do that here because I was pretty pleased with the sushi I had. I'll tell you what I had...
Red Dragon: shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado, spicy mayo, unagi sauce, and tempura. This was delicious. If you like knowing what you're gonna get, and want something you are familiar with, this is a safe bet.
Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice...This is my favorite sushi of anywhere I go. First off, it would be pretty difficult to mess this up. But they do it good at Yamashiro. The size of each piece was decent and better than some other places I've been to.
From their sashimi menu...
Scallop & Lychee Yuzu...lychee, wasabi tobiko, serrano pepper, micro green, truffle oil, yuzu and lychee vinaigrette. The presentation was quite beautiful. This was my first time having the combination of truffle with wasabi, and it surprisingly worked, but then again, what won't truffle work with? I could taste a hint of sweetness from the lychee, and a small little sting from the serrano pepper. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there was a freshness coming from something. I would recommend this to a sashimi lover looking to try something new.
But seriously, on to my favorite non-entree of the night, and that is the Salmon Tataki & Sweet Miso...serrano pepper, green onion, black tobiko, sweet miso, and tosazu. Now, this is where I have to give kudos to Yamashiro because I am absolutely not a fan of salmon sushi or sashimi, unless of course if its cooked. Not that I won't eat it at all, but I'll never really go for it. This on the other hand was exceptional. Although I wasn't in the kitchen, I have a hunch that the salmon was cooked with a torch, to the point where the top had a nice charred flavor to it, and was buttery at the same time. That plus a hint of sweetness from the sweet miso, and texture from the black tobiko. Not to mention the cute little serrano pepper on top to give it a pop! This is definitely making me reconsider my raw salmon aversion.
Arugula salad...I know this is just salad, but I actually loved it. Loved the lemony dressing, decent size at a decent price. I would order this again.
For my entrée, I had the Shoyu Glazed Black Cod...sauteed mustard greens, maitake mushrooms, wasabi mashed potatoes, soy daikon sauce. Besides it being a tasty dish, I thought the portion was decent in size. The wasabi mushrooms will surprise you, they definitely have a kick to them.
The second entrée was none other than their signature dish, the Himalayan Salt Plate...American wagyu steak seared and served on a 400 degree slab of Himalayan salt. Yamashiro describes it as a "dense block of translucent pink salt handcut from ancient mineral deposits...allowing the steak to be cooked at the table imparting a full taste and a new level of flavor complexity." Of course, it came sizzling to the table, which the waiter quickly took the meat off as to not cook it took much. This was 100% the show stopper. It comes with a hefty pricetag, but if you're looking to wow and impress someone, this will do the trick.
Dinner was followed by dessert, a humongous fortune cookie bigger than my head, which they make in house. Both ends were stuffed with their homemade milk and white chocolate mousse.
To wrap all of this up for you in a little bow, I'm going to tell you exactly what to order for a dinner for two. I would do the Koi bowl drink. One will probably last you all night. For appetizer, the musts would be the salmon tataki and the scallop & lychee yuzu. For one entrée, I would go with one of these: crispy duck leg confit citrus pea sprout, the wagyu burger. Why? Because the duck confit sounds different and unique, and the wagyu burger just sounds bomb. For the second entrée, I would go with the Himalayan Salt Plate. For dessert, my first choice would be the molten chocolate cake or the strawberry filled doughnuts. The fortune cookie would be great for another wow factor, but don't count on coming close to finishing it.
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