YAMATO OPENS IN
Yamato Japanese restaurant has been getting some good
press since opening in December, with the Los Angeles Times describing it
as “Japanese pub food at great prices”. Although the restaurant found
that accolade not exactly to their liking, they loved the business that it
has been bringing. The owner
recruited Toshi Tamba as head chef from the Wynn Hotel, and although he only made the briefest of appearances on what was
essentially a slow weekday night, he clearly prefers being in the kitchen.
They also have recruited sushi chef Katsu Hanamure from Matsuhisa
Located in the old Eurochow building on
, Yamato is indeed an impressive looking restaurant, and the staff clearly
enjoys bounding around this impressive 1929 space.
They are also equally enthusiastic about the food being offered.
There is an impressive looking sushi-bar as soon as you enter the room on
the right, with five trained Japanese chefs, and the overall quality of
the food served is high. Freshness and flavor are Yamato’s calling card,
and if the consistency level under head chef stays at this level, the
restaurant will be around for some time.
Start out with the Appetizer sampler, 4 compartments
of seasonal delicacies like Shrimp stick, Spring Rolls, Japanese Mountain
Potato and Duck Breast with Foie Gras. The list of courses is impressive,
and almost everyone is superbly prepared. One of the standouts had to be
the Black Cod, which is also listed on the menu as an appetizer ($7.95),
and something definitely to ask for. I have rarely had a fish dish so
succulent- this dish is a winner. I
also could not get enough of the Mushroom ravioli soup, which is not on
the menu and must be ordered if soups are your thing.
The Sea Bream with kiwi-fruit on top was also a special order, and
the fruit gave the fish a true sweet tasting flavor, and was a brand new
combination of ingredients for this writer.
After many decades, Westwood is still trying to find
their culinary niche in the restaurant community.
Often thought of as a place to dine before going to a UCLA sporting
event or a concert at Royce Hall, Westwood is developing their own
personality to compete with “The Grove” and “
” as the open mall areas on the Westside. Yamato Japanese restaurant is
sure to be a destination restaurant rather than a “passing thought” on
the way “to something”. Who
wouldn’t want to try variety of good healthy tasty foods bounded by the
campus energy and spirit of UCLA. I
took a short walk after my pleasant dining experience around Westwood
eventually watching one of the new movies at the Mann Westwood theatre.
The beautiful thing about Japanese food is you feel
perfect after the culinary experience an not bloated or too full at all.
This will allow movie-goers to order a small bag of popcorn with a
Diet Coke during the movie and not feel guilty.
1099 Westwood Blvd
11:30 AM- 2:30 PM
5:00 PM- 11:00 PM