In old tales of ancient Asian legend, the koi fish was known for swimming vigorously upstream the Yellow River, fighting ferociously against roaring currents and daring to jump up towering waterfalls. As these fables were passed down through generations, people started to associate koi with attributes of strength, power, prosperity, good luck, and success in overcoming adversity. While many modern Japanese-inspired establishments pay homage to this aspect of Asian culture, none compare to Yamashiro Hollywood. Residing in their rightful place atop the skyscraping hills, Yamashiro’s koi warmly welcome guests to the “Mountain Palace.”
Yamashiro continues its legacy of providing a resting place for those who dare to swim against the current as the restaurant has hosted some of LA’s most impressive and successful individuals. With a history rooted in the secret side of celebrity culture, Yamashiro was once home to the exclusive 400 Club, an Old-Hollywood-era underground organization for silver screen stars during a time when actors and actresses were looked down upon by society. As these individuals pursued their passions despite the status quo of the time, they embodied the lessons depicted by old stories of stubbornly successful koi.
While many things have changed since those Old Hollywood days, one thing remains the same: those who visit the highly regarded restaurant are often individuals who have found strength and success in moments of adversity. With countless past celebrity guests, including Johnny Depp, Ben Affleck, Dolly Parton, and LeAnn Rimes, this special spot is ideal for celebrating holidays and accomplishments from Easter to Mother’s Day, from graduations to everyday victories.
After venturing up the winding path to Yamashiro Hollywood, visitors are greeted by expansive city views, lush gardens full of exotic Japanese flora, and generous helpings of Japanese fusion food for the soul. The perfect remedy for long days and city stress, Yamashiro Hollywood provides a cozy haven among the clouds for guests to dine on the most exquisite culinary creations that Los Angeles has to offer.
Before dinner, guests are able to take a stroll through Yamashiro’s magical outdoor gardens. Gracefully terraced in circles down the Hollywood Hills, the restaurant’s gardens were originally designed by one of Yamashiro’s original owners, Adolph Bernheimer, and landscaper Andreas Orum to include a miniature replica of a Japanese village, complete with canals, houseboats, and exotic flora and fauna. While much of this original design has been changed, guests who visit in the modern day are still able to walk through the gardens and witness surreal pieces of Japanese history.
One of Yamashiro’s most famous attractions is the 600-year-old Pagoda, known for being the oldest structure in California, a state that’s just under 200 years old. Tracing all the way back to 14th century Japan, this historical place of worship was originally used to house Buddhist relics and sacred writings. The Pagoda can symbolize different values in different Asian cultures, but it is most widely recognized for its representation of wisdom, harmony, health, luck, and protection from evil spirits. Yamashiro’s esteemed guests can visit the Pagoda near the outdoor Pagoda Bar; it’s the perfect place for prayers, manifestations, birthday wishes, and gratitude for past blessings.
Managed by Freddy Braidy of Boulevard Nightlife Group (BNG), Yamashiro is the quintessential Los Angeles hotspot for Japanese-fusion cuisine. Originally in the movie industry as an independent producer for over 20 films, Braidy has been able to transition into the hospitality industry with impressive involvements such as the Hollywood Hills Hotel and the TCL Chinese Theater. He has led Yamashiro to huge success as the restaurant boasts exquisite eats put together by some of the most sought-after chefs in Los Angeles.
With menu favorites like the White Miso Chilean Sea Bass, 2-Piece Roasted Bone Marrow, Steak Garlic Yakisoba Noodles, Japanese Lobster “Risotto,” Charred Octopus with Shiso Vinaigrette, and Truffle Noodles, Yamashiro’s top-notch dinner selections are carefully crafted every night by the restaurant’s world-class chef and team. Guests can also feast on Yamashiro’s famous sushi menu including the Yamashiro Roll, the Baked Lobster Roll, Yellowtail Serrano Sashimi, and sushi boats with the chef’s selection of sashimi, nigiri, and rolls. These delicious bites pair extraordinarily well with the restaurant’s refreshing cocktail menu including the Summer Highball Apértif and the Double Happiness Cocktail. To end the night with the perfect bite, guests can try delectable dessert options curated by Pastry Chef Kat Burns.
With its delicious dinner options and legendary backstory, Yamashiro is the perfect place to celebrate accomplishments. Brimming with symbols of good fortune and fantastic success, this palace restaurant eagerly welcomes those who are unafraid to swim against the current as they toast to past achievements and embark on new adventures. As guests look over the plummeting hillsides to the sprawling city below, they add their own successes to the long history of human triumphs that have taken place at Yamashiro before them.