Take windy Hillcrest Road up the hill & you will be met with a Zen garden and an immense building evoking ancient Japanese architecture that we’ve all come to know. This building, built to resemble a Japanese palace is Yamashiro. Pull up to the front of the building and the valet will gladly park your car. Have a look at the 600 year old Pagoda, that was brought from Japan before heading inside. Once you set foot into the restaurant, you will immediately see the cherry colored wood of Japan as well as the garden area in the middle of the establishment. Yamashiro offers 360 views of Los Angeles.
We were greeted and seated right away. However, it took our waiter a while to greet us while we looked at the menu. When he finally came over, he didn’t introduce himself or offer any specials.
Nonetheless we both ordered hot tea which was delivered minutes later in individual French presses, which was a nice touch. The Jasmine Pearl tea was soothing and had a very floral scent. It was so pleasant to enjoy the tea and take in the view of the city.
It took a while for our appetizer of Spicy Tuna to arrive. In fact, customers who were seated long after we were had received their orders before us.
The Spicy Tuna’s presentation was unique from any other I’ve seen. The mixed greens were a welcome addition, providing extra color. It was pretty spicy so make sure you can handle a lot of heat with this one.
We shared the Hawaii Five -O roll, one of their signatures. The fish tasted very fresh and the pineapple added a unique and refreshing spin on this as well as the macadamia nuts. It is definitely not something you would find at the typical Japanese sushi bar.
The Sushi Entree consisted of tuna, yellowtail, albacore, whitefish, salmon, shrimp, scallop, unagi, spicy tuna, and avocado. All of the fish was very tasty. The avocado was a strange touch, definitely reminding me that we’re in California.
The overall experience was average. The great views, ambiance, unique and fresh ingredients and the Japanese architecture were the highlights of the trip. However, the service was subpar, and the food, albeit fresh was nothing too spectacular which was unfortunate considering the hype about this place.
The average price per entree was $20.00. Please bring extra cash for valet parking. Reservations are highly recommended.