Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tourists in our Home Town

After reading that our friends Jeff and Audrey, dined at Yamashiro's a short time ago, I was prompted to re-visit this Hollywood landmark  I'd recently read that this seven-acre property was for sale. I know that the restaurant is a National Historic Monument, but I was worried that this beautiful mountain-top might be changed before we had a chance to visit again. 

Over the years, I'd been to Yamashiro's a few times. I've always marveled at the expansive views of the City. Larry had NEVER been there. I made reservations for an early Saturday night dinner to avoid the crowds and the Hollywood Bowl traffic. Also, the early evening light would be perfect for photos.
We wound our way up the steep road and left our car with the valet. We still had about 30 minutes before our dinner reservation, so we explored the property. We could see from downtown L.A. all the way to Century City. If it wasn't so hazy, we could probably have seen all the way to the ocean.

View from the Restaurant to the Garden, pool and Pagoda Bar

Yamashiro is on a hilltop, nestled beneath the Hollywood Sign

We walked down the steep stairs toward the gardens, Pagoda Bar and the pool. The landscaping is lush and gorgeous. There are koi ponds and exotic plants along the way. The large Buddha statue is at the center of this gazebo, just above the Bar and pool. There is also an apartment house right next to the pool! I don't know if I'd want to have strangers sitting around my apartment pool all day and night, but it would be convenient having a fully-stocked bar with a professional bartender just outside my door! 

The "Mountain Palace" was built in 1914. Other buildings were added later. You can read about the history of this historic building and exquisite landscaping here
Yamashiro Apartments

The hillside was crawling with tourists taking photos. We joined in. I could definitely envision coming up here for a drink and appetizer at the poolside Pagoda Bar on a summer evening, especially with out of town guests.
Smiling Buddah photo-bombs our "ussie"

Eventually, we climbed the stairs to the restaurant and entered the lobby.  Wow! The architectural details of this 1914 Japanese Palace are breathtaking. There was a private party in the patio and the bar was hopping.

Murals on the Paneling in the Lobby

Private Party in the Patio

We were seated next to the window and enjoyed an expansive view of Hollywood as we dined.  Dinner was delicious. Larry had a Mai Tai. I lapped up my Moscow Mule. 

We started with the Spicy Seafood Hot Pot and the Farmers Market Salad with Shiso-champagne vinaigrete dressing. The Shoyu Glazed Black Cod was yummy, accompanied by sauteed mustard greens, Maitake mushrooms, wasabi mashed potatoes, covered with soy daikon sauce. 

Everything was beautifully prepared. The service was excellent. We asked our waiter about the impending sale of the property. He let us know that nothing has happened yet. It seems that the restaurant is owned by 9 family members. Two of those members actively run the restaurant. Naturally, there are disagreements among the family. Time will tell what the outcome will be if the property is sold. I'm glad we visited. I hope to return later in the summer.
Click on Photo to Enlarge

A Farmers Market is held every Thursday evening. There's shuttle service from Hollywood. This seems like a nice chance to see the view, have a drink and buy some veggies!

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