High on a hill above Hollywood, overlooking Los Angeles, sits Yamashiro. A storied restaurant, meaning “Mountain Palace” in Japanese, it serves Cal-Asian fare. While its roots as a restaurant only reach back mid-century, its long and varied history in Los Angeles dates to 1914.
Originally a mansion built between 1911 and 1914, it resembles a palace near Kyoto, Japan. During the 1920s, its conversion into the “400 Club” marked it as a highlight for Hollywood movers and shakers. During World War II, with anti-Japanese sentiment at its height, Japanese-Americans were sent to internment camps. Disguised and converted into a boys’ military school, Yamashiro languished. Post-war, it converted into apartment units.
Falling in to disrepair, the estate again entered the real estate market. Once sold, upon discovering the boarded-up beauty behind the plywood, Yamashiro, the restaurant, emerged anew. The unique gardens feature heavily in its beauty, with a 600 year old pagoda playing a featured role. In addition, a laughing Buddha smiles upon visitors dropping by.
A beautiful, romantic gem, it serves delicious fare and elegant cocktails. I’ve dined here twice, a treat each time. The restaurant occasionally serves as the backdrop for the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles’s Cocktails in Historic Places. Without a doubt, take any opportunity presented to visit this gorgeous gem in Hollywood.
1999 N. Sycamore Avenue