an Imperial Dining Experience
created in 1911 was a private residence
for two brothers to house their collection from the far east.
This magnificent structure was named Yamashiro,
meaning "Mountain Place." During the golden age of Hollywood
it served as a club for the ultra-exclusive "Club of the Four Hundred,"
Hollywood's most famous stars and movie moguls.
After approaching this ominous
palace by way of a steep, winding private road into the Hollywood Hills we
were met by the most charming General Manager, Patrick O'Brien. We were then
seated in a marvelous window booth and greeted by Nori, a beautiful server who
took wonderful care of us.
For cocktails, dining, banquets, weddings and
parties, its breathtaking view and eight acres of gardens are a setting for a
memorable experience. We ordered exciting appetizers including California Roll
and a Spring Roll, filled with chopped vegetables and chicken. The spiced
mussels were tender and steamed in sake and Japanese spices, a delightful
crispy, sesame coated chicken with a tangy dipping sauce. Next we enjoyed
wonderful butterflied shrimp sautéed in coconut milk with shredded coconut,
crispy on the outside, a tender beef wrapped around asparagus and a lightly
battered tempura assortment that certainly tickled the taste buds. One would
think this was enough food, but with the excellent service, relaxing
atmosphere and the charming Nori attended to our every wish, we were looking
forward to what ever was to come.
There are all kinds of exotic drinks to sip
such as Scorpions, Mai Ti's, Zombies and the like. The manager Patrick made
certain that during our breather from the amazing array of appetizers that we
had a sampling of these marvelous libation's to share. The salad selections
are terrific, we sampled the Endive with Japanese Pears, artichokes, asparagus
and almonds, and Curried shrimp with pineapple and a warm curry dressing,
there are many more interesting concoctions to try. A variety of sushi and
sashimi samplings were offered, we enthusiastically accepted and thoroughly
enjoyed the fresh delectable addition.
The multitude of entries available are
quite exciting and the chef is ready and willing to accommodate and special
combination requested. But how about the following selection, just to peak
your appetite. It's called the Yamashiro feast and it's served in sumptuous
courses. Miso soup, Yamashiro salad, Shrimp and vegetable tempura, Swordfish
with Asian salsa, Teriyaki Beef and Lobster tail with fresh vegetables. What
ever you decide, you'll be pleased and excited with the portions and
presentation. It is worth the experience and one you won't forget!
of this perfect evening with a stroll through the meticulously manicured
Japanese gardens along the winding pathways complete with streams, fountains
and one of the most spectacular views of Hollywood from the downtown skyline
clear to the pacific. We then entered the bustling, but intimate lounge, where
we enjoyed a special coffee libation sided by a sambuca, not quite keeping to
the theme, but the omnipresent traditional Japanese flair and glass enclosed
housing ended the evening on that perfect note. By the way, we did muster the
room to try the coconut sherbet served in a fresh split coconut, one of the
many fabulous deserts offered.
Yamashiro is arguably on of the finest
establishments in Hollywood, a favorite among visitors and residents. For all
of the splendor and beauty of the grounds the fare is equally as magnificent.
If you haven't been to Yamashiro, you are without a doubt missing a one of a
kind pleasure in life and if you haven't had a visit lately, I highly
recommend that you refresh your mind and palate with this ultimate dining
experience rich in history and a pleasure topped by none.
By Carol Wyckoff
1999 North Sycamore Avenue - Hollywood -