Takami New Restaurant Downtown!

Takami Sushi Robata Restaurant & Lounge



I wanted to let you know about a new retro modern restaurant that opened in downtown LA, and I dare anyone not to be completely overwhelmed upon entering the 21st floor! It's Takami Sushi Robata Restaurant & Lounge, an addition to downtown's growing list of luxury restaurants and late night lounges. It's located on the corner of Flower and Wilshire Blvd in the midst of the financial district. The 14,200 square foot multi-dimensional destination encompasses the entire 21st story penthouse suite of the 811 Wilshire building. This million dollar project, complete with sweeping views from South Bay to the San Fernando Valley, is the latest creation of the Downtown Entertainment Group, the most magnificent of restaurants, with three kitchens. One for sushi, another for Robata, (cooked foods) and a regular kitchen. The entire place is enclosed in laminated glass, even glass within glass for a fabulously popular outdoor patio. And the ceiling is made of red balau wood slats, over a stunning sculpture in the middle of the bar area. Even the walls are equitably woven and textured with huge displays of wine, in addition to a glass enclosed floor to ceiling wine room.

The "Elevate Lounge," like no other seen, is an area that will lure affair planners and guests to reserve for private events, including weddings. This section is open from 9:00pm to 3:00am, Monday through Sunday, equipped with state-of-the-art audio, visual hookup capabilities, moveable modern furniture, and other flexible features. When you have the opportunity to entertain an out-of-town guest, this entire restaurant will be remembered, "it's a Doozy," especially upon entering when it's the custom for everyone to scream "Welcome" (in Japanese say  Iroshar). That's the routine and people love it.

The Chef is Kenny Yamada, well known for opening Encino's famed Katsu-ya restaurant where he was mentored by acclaimed Sushi Master Katsuya Uechi. He's also served as Executive Chef at Bambu in Malibu, and Wolfgang Puck's for special occasions, such as the Governor's Ball, and the Oscars.


Some especially popular dishes are "Pop Art Crab," an artistic combination of crispy tempura, Dungeness crab, sweet potato, avocado, shishito pepper and four distinct sauces. In addition there's the famous "Sweet Scallop Present," conceived to look like a gift box. It's artistically crafted out of an egg, filled with a unique mixture of sweet tempura battered scallops and wine infused Jello.

There are 285 libations, including red and white wines, champagnes; also Shochu, and Soju's, along with and unbelievable list of Sake's, some called Junmai Dai Ginjo's.

Our meal began with a fish cake a'la salmon, tuna, and Camembert cheese. From the "Robata" kitchen I had an amazing Chilean Sea Bass, which we shared, along with Chicken Breast and Zucchini. The menu is huge and without the help of our waitress it would have been more difficult. My seared Albacore Sashimi was fried with garlic chips and ponzu sauce, and it was recommended that we have the Takami Roll, prepared with spicy Tuna, Snow Crab, Asparagus & Albacore, which was drizzled with Apple Ponzu Sauce.

There are choice soups and salads, one salad in particular was made with Tuna, Yellowtail, Salmon, Shrimp, Crab & Avocado) in a Chili oil dressing.

The appetizers included one of my favorites, deep fried Soft Shell Crab, however among the many offerings I saw other fine choices of various Tempura's. In the midst of the Japanese Taco, Tropical Avocado Bowl, with Sashim a'la Mango, and dynamite Lobster dishes, I found another page of great Signature Rolls, including fresh sushi & many more Sashimi creations. This is a really large menu, and just as I thought the list had ended, I noticed the Lobster Wrap, with avocado & cucumber enclosed in rice paper, and served warm with Kimisu Sauce. The desserts are scrumptious!

811 Wilshire Blvd., LA; Reservations; (213)236-9600. www.takamisushi.com Open from 11:00am daily and 5:00pm on weekends. All major credit cards accepted. While downtown, take time to visit Staples Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Grand Central Market and especially Olvera Street and the Union Station! Go early and spend some time in the new Downtown area!