I’ll admit, its not often that a restaurant makes me feel like a bona fide Japanese diplomat, but from Yamashiro’s sweeping views of Los Angeles to the perfectly cooked surf and turf, that mission is accomplished. Perched at a height in the Hollywood hills usually reserved for Lindsay Lohan and her cronies or those brave enough to traverse Runyon Canyon on foot, Yamashiro offers a view that miraculously pierces thick smog even on the haziest of nights. The property is expansive, but one can only wander the zen garden for a limited time before the hostess summons you via remote buzzer to let you know it is time for a “Russian Mule” or “Norm’s Mai-Tai.”
Once settled in with a cocktail it becomes readily apparent how much attention to detail has been paid to make this place look authentic. Regardless of whether you are dining in a booth with an airplane-like view or in the central garden listening to the gentle flow of water, it feels as though Yamashiro has transported a piece of LA directly to a misty Japanese mountaintop. The decor dazzles and the appetizers arrive. Seared ahi and crab cakes are delectable. Every other restaurant in LA would prepare these two dishes like Yamashiro if they could. The same can be said for the entrees, that may not be strictly authentic Japanese cuisine, but are every bit rich and delicious as the view is spectacular.
I may have mentioned the view more than any other aspect of Yamashiro, but despite the strong drinks and tender steak, the view is the selling point. There are many restaurants in Los Angeles with great food, but only one with a view of Dodger stadium and Santa Monica. Perfect for a group of friends on a birthday outing or a couple on Valentine’s Day 2011.
Yamashiro is located at 1999 N. Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068 Call 323.466.5125 for reservations.