Text & photos by John Bergano
Edited By Yvonne Mason

Yamashiro is not only the brightest star in Hollywood, she is one of the oldest built in 1911-1914. Perched 250 feet above Hollywood Boulevard, the ten room teak and cedar mansion, has been the site of many movies.

Landscaping at Yamashiro was a $2 million effort and resulted in California’s foremost Japanese gardens. Hillside terraces were filled with 30,000 varieties of trees and shrubs, waterfalls, hundreds of goldfish, and a private zoo of exotic birds and monkeys. Yamashiro served as headquarters for the ultra-exclusive "400 Club" (Hollywood’s motion picture industry elite), during it's Golden Age in the late 1920's.

During the Great Depression, guests could tour Yamashiro's gardens for 25 cents. At the outbreak of World War II, anti-Japanese sentiment spread rapidly in Hollywood and much of the landscaping and decorative elements of the palace were stripped by vandals. In 1948, Thomas O. Glover, bought and refurbished the estate.

Today, Yamashiro is again truly a star. Executive Chef Brock Kleweno, Sous Chef Victor Torres and Pastry Chef Alejando Andrade prepare an outstanding and creative cuisine. Some of the items on an evenings tasting menu included: Ahi Poke with tomato, macadamia nuts, onion, soy-sesame marinade and wasabi aioli; Shoyu Glazed Black Cod.sauteed mustard greens, maitake mushrooms, wasabi mashed potatoes, soy daikon sauce; Pistachio Salmon with coriander-sesame crust, miso-ponzu vinagrette, pistachio-citrus relish; Lobster Risotto of lobster claws, bay shrimp, edamame and lobster stock; Wagyu on Himalayan Salt Plate, was magnificent -American Wagyu steak and cooked on a rare Himalayan salt plate served with an arrugala salad.

Dessert was Strawberry Doughnuts, more puff pastry, with strawberry buttermilk ice cream and vanilla creme anglaise.

Go for the beauty, stay for the food. Both fabulous.

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Yamashiro Hollywood 1999 N. Sycamore Ave., Hollywood 323-466-5125

Last update Wed March 20, 2013 6:49 PM