I’m opening with “I’m not a Foodie” so that you understand that this review isn’t going to be a technical analysis of all the amazing dishes at Yamashiro Hollywood. Instead, it will be about my experience at this amazing Asian inspired Mountain Palace above Hollywood. One that I won’t soon forget since Chef Brock Kleweno has ruined me for all other food reviews in the future.
Victoria and I arrived at Yamashiro by private car because we were guests at The Magic Castle and they didn’t want us to drive up the somewhat scary winding driveway to the top of the mountain. It’s pretty high up there and once we arrived we were immediately made breathless by the view. We could see everything from this height. I recommend dinner at Yamashiro for the view alone. When you call make sure and tell them you’d like a table with a view and they’ll help you out.
We were seated at one of the best tables in the house where it felt we could fall off the wide of the world. Shortly after being seated Chef Brock came to our table to introduce himself. He explained that while the restaurant does obviously have a strong Asian influence, he’s been trying to incorporate some California flair as well. If you have someone in your life who has been nervous about trying Yamashiro because of the “sushi” or “raw fish” tell them not to be worried, there are plenty of other options on the Yamashiro menu that are delicious such as the Asian BBQ Baby Back Ribs or the Jidori Chicken Breast.
My favorite item on the entire menu was the Pistachio Salmon with coriander-sesame crust, miso-ponzu vinaigrette and pistachio-citrus relish. I believe this was one of Victoria’s favorites as well, it was that good. It was raw fish so if you are sensitive to this I would skip it. However if you are a raw fish lover like myself I say don’t miss this dish. It can be found under the House Specials for $16. It’s honestly the glaze the salmon sits in that makes all the difference.
For a perfect starter the Ahi Poke is not only great tasting, but it comes straight from Hawaii. Chef Brock was “schooled” by a Hawaiian friend in creating the perfect Ahi Poke and he even flies the Ahi straight in from the Islands. It is served with small crackers so that you can place the salad onto them for the perfect mix of soft and crunchy. The Ahi Poke also includes tomato, macadamia nuts, onion, soy-sesame marinade and wasabi aioli.
For the Lobster lover visiting Yamashiro the Spicy Lobster roll can’t be beat. Why is that you might ask. Oh maybe because it has bacon! Yes, you read that right, it has a slice of bacon on top. And good thick bacon too, not bacon bits or some dried up piece of bacon. The Lobster roll also includes cucumber, avocado and basil-artichoke sauce that made the cucumber less noticeable since most people know I am not a cucumber fan.
At this point we could barely breathe, this is just a handful of the items Chef Brock bought out for us to sample. But now it was time for the main event. The Himalayan Salt Plate in a less classy restaurant would be accompanied by the waiter singing a loud obnoxious song and other servers clapping in unison. It’s that spectacular. It is a dense block of translucent pink salt hand cut for ancient mineral deposits. It is then heated to to over 400 degrees which allows the Wagyu steak to be cooked by you at your table. You also get potatoes, a large piece of garlic, some greens and mushrooms to complete the meal. Then it is up to you to place the raw meat on the salt block and watch it cook! Your waiter is glad to assist if you have any problems or concerns. This my friend is an event in and of itself.
If you can believe it, we saved room for dessert. Well we didn’t actually save room but dessert was served. Pumpkin Creme Brulee with pumpkin seed and cayenne brittle has me a changed woman. I talked about this dessert to anyone who would listen for no less than two weeks. It came inside a miniature pumpkin! Did you hear that? A mini pumpkin! Not only was it creamy goodness but it was dressed to the nines.
After we ate we took a walk into the Japanese Gardens. They are a bit famous seeing as they were in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. There are other movies as well but that’s the most famous one I was familiar with. Unfortunately it was dark out and so my pictures weren’t that wonderful. I included some anyway.
The entire night was magical which makes sense seeing as Yamashiro is on the property of The Magic Castle. The view was breathtaking and Victoria and I went outside and enjoyed it in the open air before we called it a night. I recommend you check out Yamashiro Hollywood whether you are a local or visiting Los Angeles. It’s an experience you’ll remember forever.
Visit them online at http://www.yamashirorestaurant.com
*I received media sample. All opinions are my own.