amazing food, very fresh albacore sushi, generally pretty attentive service, great place, expensive cash, not incredible everything, excellent appetizer
Amazing Food. Nothing like eating outside in April!
Hayama, Heaven on Sawtelle. This is one of the best neighborhood restaurants in town. Ambience is great indoors and out by the fire. The Tazmanian salmon is quite superb. The garlic edamame is an unbelievably tasty snack. If you can get someone to show you how to operate the cotton candy machine n the way out your trip will be complete.
Love the communal stone fireplace and amazing food. Nothing like eating outside in December at a stone firepit. The food was incredible but make sure to get the small plates. Rice/Tuna dish incredible as was the lobster bisque. And banana tempura for dessert.
Amazing food and ambience! Love the fireside dining.. Make sure to try Bar Hayama when you want to treat yourself. It's best to come with a couple friends. This way you can share the small plates and try a variety of dishes. Our bill came out to $50 each (in addition to food, we got a bottle of sake and 2 desserts) and we left stuffed and extremely satisfied with our meal. Here are a couple must try dishes: Toshi's Special yellowtail sashimi with myouga (fresh fish with a delish light peanuty sauce), Black Cod with mushroom ponzu butter sauce (the cod melts in your mouth and the sauce is to die for), Main Lobster Dynamite (yum!).
We went on a recommendation and our only disappointment was that the outdoor firepit was full; however we sat at the sushi bar which was my second choice anyway.
The food is delicious and fresh, the portions generous. By the end of the meal, we were requesting half orders (we were unable to finish some of our previous dishes and didn't want to keep wasting food!) The sake flights are fun to try but the hot "house" sake is perfectly drinkable. Do try the bluefin tuna with bleu cheese - a surprising combination, but not surprisingly delicious! (though it is rich and you'll probably want to share amongst your tablemates)
Admittedly, we did find ourselves waiting for certain hot plate items, but that could be attributed to sitting at the bar as well as dining there on a Friday night.
Still Waiting. I made a reservation, but we had to wait for our table. Our server couldn't explain the sake that we should order with our entrees, I thought this place specialized in sake and the owner is an expert. When I asked if someone else could help us, the server was brought us some garlic edamame on the house. My throat was getting dry, still waiting for that sake and it made my fingers sticky. We asked for a wet towel before the sushi came, had to wait for it. The sushi and dishes from the kitchen were OK, nothing to write home about. Still waiting for our drinks, we gave up on a sake pairing by this time. I'm not saying that this is a terrible place, I just don't understand what all the hype is all about. By the way, we're still waiting...
Great food and great atmosphere!. of course great food and atmosphere always come with a high price tag. This place is no exception. We had chelean seabass, grilled lamb, grilled calamari, salmon roe sushi, scallop sashimi, beef carpacio and 12 different types of premium sakes. We had about 16 dishes so that should tell you that the portions are small. My favorite was the beef carpacio and salmon roe sushi. It was really fresh and was delightful. The fire pit in the middle of the outdoor seating area set off a very cool/romantic mood. This is a great place but expensive.
We loved this restaurant. The Sushi is awesome, the staff are friendly and the place has a comfortable, rustic feel. The firepit is huge with guest surrounding it at a massive table.
Look forward to going back...good wine and beer selections too.
Bad Service. We had a reservation but were kept waiting for half an hour while they had several empty tables. I asked and was told that they were waiting for one table to leave and they will seat us soon. I was a guest so did not want to be a pain about it since two other people from our party had not arrived yet. After these other two arrived, we were still kept waiting for another twenty minutes, for whatever reason. Finally finally we were seated. Then I find that the servers were not organized at all. For a restaurant supposedly of a high caliber, they brought our order to our table in a most disorganized manner, meaning, the sides that come with the dishes we ordered did not come together with the dish. They came half-hazardly, the miso soup after I was more than halfway done and the side pickled vegetable almost when I was done. It was the same with the other orders. And the servers/busboys were so disruptive, they kept clearing the empty plates, I would look up to find a hand stretching over me to get to an empty plate or bowl, they even took away a small wasabi plate that we were still using. They come across as rushing you to finish your meal. The firepit is the only positive thing they have going, other than this, there is nothing whatsoever about this restaurant. There are so many other great Japanese places, so you might as well skip this one.
So-So "best new restaurant". Read about this in LA Mag "Best New Restaurants", so decided to check it out on a Sat night. Got a reservation no problem, showed up, and we were seated inside (the outdoor fire pit/sake bar is cool, but it was fully booked for a private party). Service was spotty at best, our server seemed like she was working too many tables, and we had to ask her to stop by our table a few too many times. The best part of this place is the sushi, it's excellent, fresh and tasty. The overall menu is a bit much though, confusing at times, and our server didn't explain what certain things meant. Worst part, the noise, it was extremely loud sitting inside. The wooden floors and high ceilings probably attribute to this. I'd be tempted to try again, but I'd sit outside.
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