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By Michael Hepworth

Takami has just opened up in an old office building downtown, and it just shows you what a $4 million investment can do. The space is buzzing, the atmosphere is terrific, and the food spearheaded by sushi expert Kenny Yamada is a joy to look at and taste. If you are into Asian food at any level, then a visit here is a must, just to see what the fuss is all about, and it could very easily turn out to be one of your regular spots, and certainly a place to take out of town of visitors to.  

Kenny is well known for opening Encino’s famed Katsu-ya restaurant, when he was mentored by Sushi Master Katsuya Uechi.  He also opened Bel Air’s SHU (Sushi House Unico), and he also served as the executive chef at Bambi in Malibu . The innovative dishes he brings to the table (literally) at Takami are embellished with the marvelous tiny garnishes on the rim of the plates, such as red caviar and sea weed just to name a few.  Here are just a few of the items on the menu that you should try. One is the signature dish of Creamy Rock Shrimp Tempura Purse, a carefully constructed egg wrap that is so easy to eat, containing fresh tasting spicy Tempura Rock Shrimp ($16). The chef is also proud of his Pop Art Crab, a Dungeness style Crab and Avocado wrapped in soy paper and served with rainbow sauce.

However the star of the evening for me was the Miso Chilean Sea Bass, with champagne Yuzu Sauce and served with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes. The fish just crumbled into the mouth and was a truly heavenly taste. There is a freshness to the food here at Takami, and frankly I have no idea how this restaurant rates against other sushi establishments in Los Angeles , but I just love the vibe here. Another signature dish is the “Sweet Scallop Present,” a dish conceived to look like a gift box crafted out of an egg. It is filled with a mixture of sweet tempura battered scallops and wine infused jello.

Cocktails and wine are an important part of the mix at Takami, and the one I tried, was the Takami Sunset ($14), featuring Kettle One Citron, Cranberry Juice, Lime Juice, Triple Sec and Mint. Many of the other cocktails are Sake and Soju-based, including the signature Wasabitini, Bloody Sake, Sake-Cran and Pamasake drinks. The wine list is also large enough to allow a reasonable choice, with prices starting at $30 a bottle up to $285 for the Opus One, Napa Valley , Meritage 2003.  

One of the highlights of the place itself is A glass enclosed wine room with a floor to ceiling wine display and a ceiling made of Red Balau wood slats. The front of the sushi and robata bar is an undulating cubed stone with a cantilvered leather top, and the two bars are separated by laser cut aluminum panels with a patina finish.  There is a late night lounge called Elevate Lounge adjacent to the restaurant with a live disc jockey on the weekends, and by all accounts it is starting to be the place to hang out downtown.

Fact Sheet

Phone: 213-236-9600

811 Wilshire Blvd , 21st Floor

Los Angeles , CA



Mon-Thurs 11:00 am to 11:00 pm

Friday 11:00 am to Midnight

Saturday 5:00 pm to Midnight

Sunday 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Valet Parking $7


































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