Dine with a View: Yamashiro Hollywood Farmer’s Market

Yamashiro Hollywood celebrates 100 years this year. The name Yamashiro translates as “Mountain Palace” in Japanese. In 1911, the Bernheimer brothers began construction of the hilltop mansion to house their priceless collection of Asian treasures. Hundreds of craftsmen were brought from the Orient to recreate the replica of a palace located in the “Yamashiro” province mountains near Kyoto, Japan. Yamashiro sits 250 feet above Hollywood Boulevard and was completed in 1914. To learn more about Yamishuro’s fascinating history, click HERE.

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1922 View of Yamashiro (Photo credit: facebook.com/yamashirohollywood)

One reason I never want to move and leave my neighborhood is the weekly Thursday night Farmer’s Market at Yamashiro. If you have not been, you are really missing out on what makes LA so special. As the sun sets, the hip crowd often walks up from the neighborhood while outsiders get bused up in small vans. Parking is available at Yamishuro for a valet fee. The cool laid back crowd dines on tasty bites from many vendors, buys farm fresh produce, listens to live music, shops for cool outfits and unique finds at one of the fashion trucks, all with almost 360 degree views of Los Angeles.

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LA Dreams (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Every Thursday I look forward to this evening from April to September. Although Yamashiro is really a restaurant, the Zen grounds for the Thursday night Farmer’s Market offer up a breathtaking spot for a date, to catch up with friends, or meet new ones. People eat at tables overlooking the city or stand at shared tables. Many parents bring their children since MosaicLA provides entertainment, music and interactive activities for all to enjoy.

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Pagoda Bar (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

In a way, sometimes I feel like I am in Europe up here, but then a massive gold Buddha greets you as you spiral down to the festivities that hang over the city. If you go left down the stairs from the front of Yamishuro, there is a small pool and wine bar called the Pagoda Bar where many of us go to eat our tasty tacos, crepes, and wood fire pizza, as well as gaze at the moon, and drink under the stars. Did you know the pagoda is 600 years old?

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Rub the Buddha. Make a wish. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

What to Not Miss at Yummy Yamashiro:

Yamashiro’s Tacos are mouthwatering taste explosions. They are delightful in every sense of the word. Chef Brock’s hugely popular tacos draws long lines and are often the reason people come to the Farmer’s Market. Tacos spill over with braised short ribs, miso-sake marinated black cod and hoisin duck confit with agave-citrus salsa. Salsas often include ginger pico de gallo, wasabi guacamole, Korean chile salsa roja, and tequila salsa verde. To win free tacos, post a picture on Instagram and hashtag #yamatacos. Wine is also served here and often they give you a tasty side like guacamole and chips or homemade pickles.

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My friend Amber diving into the Yamatacos. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Urban Pie – Mobile Pizzeria – Seriously, the best pizza I have had in LA to date. I was so impressed with their pizza that I asked them a few questions about their secrets. They divulged that they use 30 year old starter dough, Italian flour, cheese, and tomatoes, and local produce. They seriously are cooking your pizza in the back of their wood fire burning oven hitch. They have pizzas like Bee Stinger with chili, honey, and mozzarella, Sausage with Kale, and Pepperoni Basil. You can’t go wrong with any of their concoctions. I crave their puffy doughy bread crisped so nice on top.

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Me dining on that perfect Urban Pie pizza. (Photo credit: Amber Nowland)

Cool Haus truck – They offer architecturally inspired gourmet desserts. I have loved their delicious ice cream inventions for a long time. They have become so successful, winning many awards, that they now will be featured in grocery stores nationwide and shops. I have never met the owners, but am so proud of their creations, like bourbon pecan pie, fried chicken and waffles, gin and tonic, honeycomb, horchata, salted caramel, Vietnamese coffee, whiskey lucky charms, blueberry sweet corn, and the list of unusual satisfactions goes on.  I participated in a dessert battle a few years ago, and their brown candied bacon ice cream was by far my favorite. You pick the type of cookie and the type of unreal ice cream for an ice cream sandwich you won’t forget.

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Photo credit: facebook.com/fancifull

GC Crepe Makers – I am a crepe fanatic, so when it comes to perfect crepes, I know it when I find them. Their breakfast crepes, dinner crepes, and savory crepes are a must. Sometimes I just like the simple lemon and sugar or most times I enjoy the chocolate banana strawberry crepe. They also sell soda and water for a $1, and Thai Teas.

Other vendors I have enjoyed include the Heirloom LA Food Truck (quite pricey, but you may want to try their lasagna cupcakes), the Flat Iron Truck (can we say bacon mac and cheese and truffle fries?), juice combinations from Pressed Juicery, gourmet salts from Hepp’s Salt Co, healthy artisan nut butter combos from Nuttin Butter, and delicious dried fruits, nuts, and granola snacks from Alex’s Fruits & Nuts.

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Beautiful walk into the Yamishura Farmer’s Market (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

J.D. Luxe Fashion Truck – Every time we go to the market, my friends and I seem to find something cute from this truck, whether it be an American flag scarf, a dainty gold ring, a Kale Tee, a sexy white dress, or a long flowing aqua see-through number for Ibiza.

The Bikini Beach Box – If you know me, I have been obsessed with bikinis since I was probably 12 years old buying several each summer. Discovering Peruvian designer Natalie Zena Beachwear with her Brazilian style bikinis handmade in LA was a win-win, especially before heading to Ibiza. My adorable aqua-green thong ‘Natalie Zena’ flip flops held up for miles of beaches when the sand got too hot or sharp rocks popped up, and I adored wearing my new silver ruffly teeny tiny bikini I found in this Beach Box. Another favorite purchase was my pink half shoulder cover-up with a sort of fishnet fabric. Not what I typically would buy, but a girlfriend convinced me otherwise, and I was so happy to have it in hot Spain.

Poem Girl – You give her a topic, she types (yes, on an old school typewriter) you a poem so profound, you will read it many times and treasure it as a keepsake. She rocks her own unique old school style and often looks like she was plucked from a 1950’s magazine ad. I see her all over Hollywood inspiring people with her words. You can follow Jacqueline Suskin on Instagram at @jsuskin.

Since most venders take cash only, there is an ATM in the restaurant directly inside to the right in a tiny closet area. What better way to experience LA. Dine with a view!

The Poem Girl (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
The Poem Girl (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Yamashiro Farmer’s Market 

1999 N. Syacmore Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90068

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