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Yamashiro - Tourist Trap or Old Gem?

Jarrod San Angel | Jan 10, 200507:46 PM

:: Howdy, 'Hounds ::

Well, it's anniversary time again. My girlfriend and I will be celebrating our 2nd year together, and to mark the occasion we'll be dining out, amongst other little festivities.

My girlfriend, I feel compelled to note, is (strictly speaking) neither a chowhound nor a foodie - though, if I had to venture to guess, I'd say she leans more towards chowhound territory. All the same, she posseses an adventurous palate and a noble tongue; she prizes Thai cuisine above all else, will drive out of her way for good carnitas, knows a good bun cha when she tastes it, and gladly indulges me in my quests for good food in some of the unlikeliest of places (I am often indebted to Jonathan Gold's roving spirit).

All the same, she's not interested in something along the lines of a little hole-in-the-wall that serves up the best albondigas this side of the border for our anniversary dinner, and so we've decided to find something with a bit of class, charm, & ambiance (and naturally, a menu that won't bankrupt a couple of poor students such as ourselves). A nice view always helps, too.

A few trustworthy names were tossed about: Valentino. The Raymond. The Madison in Long Beach. Some of which, I might add, seemed a little too rich for my blood right now. We survive on student grants & loans, so.. Candlelight on a budget is what we're after. (Last year we did Tanino in Westwood Village.. but funds flowed a little more freely back then).
And then someone suggested Yamashiro. I'd seen an advertisement for the place in a Disney Hall program once before.. a classy looking bastion of Japanese lights and charm overlooking the city.. or at least that's what I gathered from the advert. And friends have led me to believe that the food isn't bad and that I could do worse in terms of money.

But then.. the criticisms came. A "tourist trap!" "Bland!" "Pedestrian Japanese fare!" "Overpriced!"

And so.. having never been.. I am left with but one option - I must turn to trusty chowhounds who are sure to know the inside scoop. Whether or not it's an ideal spot. What to order.. and perhaps more impotantly, what NOT to order.. And of course, hopefully offer good and/or better alternatives if you believe Yamashiro isn't up to snuff.

Hit reply and have your say and perhaps you'll help a couple of students have a memorable, magical anniversary.

Many Thanks in Advance.

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