Yamakase is the best meal The Monster has had in LA. Better than Urasawa. Providence. Melisse. The first time at ConiSeafood. Exploring the nooks and crannies of Thaitown. Glorious Korean bbq duck. Defeats n/naka. Angelini. Hart and the Hunter. Din Tai Fung. Go’s Mart. Those were and are fantastic places. Yamakase as a holistic experience tops them all.
It is a wonderful synthesis of the food one gets at Urasawa/Shunji/n/naka/Zo with the uproariously fun time you might have at an intimate dinner party with great friends.
Just a small sample of some of the amazing wines guests have consumed at Yamakase.
Your seat at the sushi bar.
Where Yamasan goes to work.
Champagne and wine on ice.
Let the games begin.
Because that is ultimately what Yamasan is offering in his ten seat, invitation only, eighteen plus course omakase only, BYOB, restaurant par excellence. From the sign-less outpost on National to the closed sign hanging all night (knock to gain entry), to the music jamming and the chef rocking, this is an evening of fantastic food and drink (so long as you bring them) and memories you’ll long cherish. For this is not only a memorable meal, it is a damn fucking good time.
And we’re off…
By course two you realize this will be no ordinary meal.
The use of edible flowers (chrysanthemum) makes this dish sing.
If you are lucky enough to gain entry, bring plenty of wine, sake or beer (champagne, two bottles of white, two bottles of red and a bottle of dessert wine kept us well lubricated), be sure to engage the friendly Yamasan (and offer him a glass of what you are drinking) and be prepared to eat the freshest of ingredients (the fish was still squirming as he cut it) skillfully executed by a chef having a great time making your night one to remember.
Two luscious, incredible bites.
And two more.
Crab. Simple. Fantastic. This was alive when we first arrived so it could not be fresher.
The use of almonds is a perfect counterpoint to the dish.
Yamasan at work.
Know this meal will last more than four hours, it will not be cheap (starts at $200 a person but feels like an absolute bargain) and it will ruin you for days from other food.
By this juncture the night becomes a kaleidoscope of fun, a marvel of taste.
The best ankimo The Monster has ever had.
Fungi and fish.
The damage so far.
On to sushi.
Truly like butter.
Words begin to fail one.
You will be devoured.
Time for a refreshing dessert.
From a bouillabaisse that is the best version this eater has ever had to uni that will have you smiling ear to ear, each bite you experience will send you further along on an epicurean adventure the likes of which will be hard to replicate.
Why go? You got in.
Monster rating: 5/5 Monsters