Yamakase & Invite Only

I’ve been waiting to try Yamakase for a very long time ever since my friend mentioned how amazing it is.  She always told me she would get me an invite but I never had the definitive urge to go.  Until… my buddy said he would buy an award winning bottle of sake if I could get us invited.  Lo and behold!!!  I got us invited.

Yamakase Los Angeles
The restaurant decor

Yamakase is a word play between Chef Yamamoto and Omakase.  I guess you could say it’s kind of like Bennifer, Brangelina, Kimye, Bey-Z, and nobody cares.  It’s hard to spot Yamakase if you never been there.  There’s no sign on the windows or store front.  There’s no parking lot, so you have to find parking on the street.  If you don’t know the area, it’s a headache to find parking in West LA.  The same headache you get from watching reality stars like the Kardashians.

Yamakase Los Angeles
Chef Yamamoto

Anyway, the restaurant holds no more than 10 seats.  Chef Yamamoto makes everything in front of you, so expect a 4 hour dining experience.  It’s BYOB and the service is amazing.  I never had to ask for my water or sake to be refilled.  Unfortunately, we’re not lucky enough in life where we don’t have to ask Paris Hilton to shut up.

Now, the food.  The 4 hour dinner consists of 22 courses and every dish was good to amazing.  I’m not going to touch on all the items but I’m going to highlight the ones I found really exceptional.

  1. Oyster Shooter made of Quail Egg, Uni, Oyster and Caviar – This was amazing and everything blended very well together.  The egg was slowed cooked, so the yoke added such a great flavor to the shooter.  It’s almost as great as seeing Ryan Lochte declared a national disgrace.
    Yamakase Los Angeles
    Oyster Shooter made of Quail Egg, Uni, Oyster and Caviar
  2. Japanese Kobe Beef – Japanese Kobe Beef is the best beef I’ve tasted in my life.  It was lightly seasoned with salt at the beginning of the dinner and he let it sit for a few hours.  The beef was so tender and he just topped it with butter.  What doesn’t butter make better?  Everything except your weight.
    Yamakase Los Angeles
    Japanese Kobe Beef
  3. Blue Fin Tuna & Uni – Two typical sushi items combined.  It was so simple and complimented each other well like Harry and Lloyd making the most annoying sound in the world.
    Yamakase Los Angeles
    Uni and Blue Fin
  4. Seafood Egg Custard – This had so many flavors.  The egg custard and the taste of fish had me and my buddy saying “Holy sh*t!” out loud in the restaurant as if we both shitted in our pants.
    Yamakase Los Angeles
    Seafood Egg Custard
  5. Uni Hand Roll with Toro and Blue Crab inside – He took Blue Crab spread over rice, layered some senposai (I think), layered Toro, added soy sauce, layered another senposai, and added uni to it.  It was all the good stuff a sushi bar would serve combined.  It was luxury in a Japanese burrito.
    Yamakase Los Angeles
    Uni Hand roll

However, the only disappointment I had was the nigiri.  The nigiri was decent but I expected more from it.  I was expecting it to melt in my mouth after two bites.  I think it had a lot to do with the temperature of the rice and it wasn’t up to par with Sushi Zo.

Overall, this isn’t your typical nigiri omakase experience like Sushi Zo.  Chef Yamamoto does a great job at being creative while keeping it simple with his dishes.  Every dish was very different and full of flavor.  However, his creativity only consisted of combining high-end ingredients together and calling it day.  It wasn’t emphasize by his cooking skills, which appeared to be somewhat limited.

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  • 7.5/10
    Service - 7.5/10
  • 6.5/10
    Presentation - 6.5/10
  • 7/10
    Flavors - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Decor - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Ambiance - 7/10
7/10

Summary

It’s hard to spot Yamakase if you never been there. There’s no sign on the windows or store front. Chef Yamamoto makes everything in front of you, so expect a 4 hour dining experience. Chef Yamamoto creativity only consisted of combining high-end ingredients together and calling it day.

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