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Jul 23, 2012 05:09 PM


I saw this place mentioned in an Urasawa review on Yelp. Invitation only, in the Palms area. Any Chow reviews? Worth trying for a reservation?

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    1. About to go soon. Will report back.

      17 Replies
      1. re: J.L.

        Looking forward to your review!

        1. re: J.L.

          As I haven't been to n/naka, I'd be interested in your thoughts comparing the two ...

          1. re: J.L.

            J.L., did I miss your review on a separate thread somehow? I always enjoy your posts and was (still am) looking forward to this one (if it's coming).

            1. re: Servorg

              So Sorry fellow hounds! Yes, I DID go to Yamakase a week ago, but I'm currently on vacation, and I will be writing this one up as soon as I return to L.A.!

              Spoiler alert: LOVED it.

              1. re: J.L.


                no wonder why i haven't seen your posts in ages.

                1. re: J.L.

                  Sorry to be such a "nudge" (my overwhelming selfish enjoyment of your photo reviews has caused me to put aside all shame) but, any further thoughts about putting up your review of this place? Inquiring minds want to know (and see)...

                  1. re: Servorg

                    Sorry for the tardiness. I suck. It'll be up within 72 hrs.

                    1. re: J.L.

                      Better to slurp than to suck...Looking forward to it. ;-D>

                      1. re: J.L.

                        OK, my review is (finally) up. Thanks for putting up with my tardiness in reporting back.


                        1. re: J.L.

                          "Thanks for putting up with my tardiness in reporting back."

                          The pleasure of vicarious joy is worth the agony of being an annoying pest! ;-D>

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Yeah, we are just observing from the cheap seats. A vicarious thrill, sure beats no thrill.

                            Btw, JL, have you been to Kiriko for the dinner omakase recently ? What are some of your hit dishes for the Oct month ? I do love Shunji's which is even great and exceptional just for the sushi alone, not to mention his omakase/tasting menus, but I'll have to add something new to the once in a blue moon rotation.

                            Suffice to say, I do love the tamago at Kiriko, and I tried the kinmedai or golden eye snapper there whish was seared though I had those items to-go though immediately ate it within a minute along with the pumpkin or rather kabocha squash jelly. Anyhow, I wasn't too imporessed with the kinmedai, unless I was supposed to specify that they don't sear it with the blowtorch.

                            anyhow, also for servorg, if you have not gotten to Shunji's yet, get there already. even if only order a few pieces of sushi and their chocolate mousse dessert and the tomato jelly dish, it is beyond good and not too pricey if you go the order it your own way route. though most would say that you should order the omakase, shunji's menu on your first-run through.

                            1. re: Faulkner99

                              Yes, it's much appreciated.

                              You are the man. !!!

                              Btw, Faulkner, have you written any more award-winning novels recently ?

                                1. re: kevin

                                  Ha! No Kevin, it's difficult to write without any light down here.

                                  1. re: Faulkner99

                                    Don't the flames give off some light? ;-D>

                      1. Interesting, this is the chef who got caught serving whale at the Hump?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: PeterCC

                          Aaaaah, the Hump! Nice memories...

                          1. re: liu

                            Hump was truly great.

                            When I think back on my Sushi-volution it starts with a few pieces of maguro/hamachi with my Mom, as a novelty in the early 80's; mutates to a whole new level with Nozawa a few years later; then crosses an ocean to what felt authentically Japanese with the Hump. Very, very good in its heyday.

                            1. re: Ciao Bob

                              ...and watching the touch-and-go landing/take-off practice right out the window!
                              The Hump was the whole package!

                        2. I’ve been to Yamakase a few times since it opened in December 2011. Chef Yama and co-owner Stan Liu have created a very special oasis of fine, informal-intimate dining.

                          All 11 seats are at the counter, behind which all the action takes place. There is no menu and the food rises above and beyond Japanese cuisine. Each evening’s offerings are based on the seasonal - or daily - availability of ingredients. In omakase / kaiseki style, Yama-san prepares and serves an impressive progression of small plates including raw and cooked fish, meats, vegetables, soup, and creative variations on indulgent specialties from around the world. In the past, items like Iberico ham, truffles, and keiji salmon have been featured. (Just let him know in advance if you have any dietary restrictions.)

                          Each dish is a work of art; tastes, textures, and appearances are designed delightfully by Yama-san. OK, so now I’m fawning …. but I’m a big fan of this place - and of Yama - and wish only that I was spending more time on the west coast these days.

                          Allow yourself at least 3 hours for the full experience.

                          Highly recommended.

                          17 Replies
                            1. re: ns1

                              Price may vary depending on special plates and requests, but generally I'd say $$$$ - less than Urasawa; more than Mori.

                              1. re: njfreqflyer

                                That would be $$$$$ then. In fact that would make it one of the most expensive restaurants in the United States. Mori is no bargain-priced sushi joint, but probably in the top 5 most expensive restaurants in L.A. #3 as far as I know. Oh wait, #4 now that it has been surpassed by Yamakase which would be #3.

                                1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                  $$$ or $$$$ is subjective. BASE price this month is $200, but can vary since the omakase concept also applies to the final tab. I’m sure prices will keep creeping up over time.

                                  1. re: MonsieurKnowItAll

                                    Based on the information about - how is it possibly subjective?

                                    1. re: MonsieurKnowItAll


                                      I haven't tried it yet.

                                      Do we really have know someone beforehand to to go here ?


                                      1. re: kevin

                                        I think they're playing with you a bit. It's a small place and the aura of exclusivity is always a desirable thing for a restaurant.

                                        Just make a reservation request.

                                        1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                          Um... They're not kidding when they say you need to have dined there before (as someone else's guest) in order to make a future reservation.

                                          @kevin: Do you have the jack, 'cuz I can probably get you in the next time I go. Your treat, right? ;-)

                                          1. re: J.L.

                                            Despite the "speakeasy" reputation - I simply went online and made a reservation. No problem. Crazy-fun experience.

                                            1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                              Wow. Their policy must have changed. Now even more people can enjoy it!

                                              I wonder when the policy change took effect...

                                              1. re: J.L.

                                                Probably when business suffered. Same is true of Totoraku. Call. You might be pleasantly surprised.

                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                  Wow. Totaraku too. Someone was just asking me on how to get in there.

                                                  So as long as you call them for a reservation at Totoraku you are good as gold ???

                                              2. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                How much was your tab ???

                                                Better than Shunjis in your opinion ?

                                                1. re: kevin

                                                  It "starts" at $200 a person. But to be honest, the whole evening turned out to be quite a value. I don't know if my evening there was commonplace, but a number of patrons brought liquor and shared it. My date and I got delightfully bombed on champagne, single malt scotch, pinot noir and sake. With corkage and tax it came to around $480.

                                                  My date flipped for this place - the whole undercover, under-the-radar concept, clean, but decidedly and pointedly underwhelming decor - combined with 3 star service and excelled and varied food. Formal food and service, but informal/casual/comfortable atmosphere.

                                                  It felt more like a chef having friends over and cooking.

                                                  Better than Shunji? I'd say yes, a bit. (I enjoyed the fish dishes better than the meat). And restaurant concept is much different than Shunji. (like I said above - more like a dinner party, than a restaurant).

                                                    1. re: Thor123

                                                      There has never been a corkage fee in the many times I have been there. Perhaps foddiemahoodie meant "tip and tax."

                                              3. re: J.L.

                                                You know me.

                                                I can barely afford McD's these days.

                                                I was hoping that someone could treat me, esp after my recent omakase with lobster three ways (make that four ways including the lobster miso soup)

                                                And also how much is Yamakase running these days without alcohol ? My recent meal, with the lobster, was a buck fifty before tip.