03 Jan A Sushi and Ramen Gem in the Heart of Hollywood at Totoyama Sushi & Ramen
One thing that there is no shortage of in Los Angeles are sushi and ramen restaurants. While certain areas are more densely filled with sushi and ramen restaurants, they can be found in nearly every neighborhood. And on top of that, it is not a challenge to find good quality sushi and ramen. When I was invited to check out Totoyama Sushi & Ramen on Hollywood Blvd, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, Hollywood Blvd is not typically a place to come to eat unless you are going to the Pantages or are looking for somewhere where the scene is more important than the food. But, I was in for a great surprise – Totoyama Sushi & Ramen is a gem in the center of Hollywood.
This gem is a rather unassuming restaurant. It is tucked inside the complex that is home to Greenleaf Gourmet Shop, Pressed Juicery, Shake Shack, Dunkin Donuts and Soul Cycle. The space is simple and comfortable. There is a small dining area in the front, seating around the sushi bar which takes up the largest space in the restaurant, and a small dining area behind the sushi bar.
The man behind Totoyama Sushi & Ramen is Chef Yukinari Yamamoto. Yamamoto began his career in the sushi restaurant business in Tochigi prefecture of Japan in 1988, followed by a career in sushi manufacturing management. He moved to Los Angeles in 2010 and opened his first restaurant in 2015 in Korea Town. In June of 2018, he opened Totoyama Sushi & Ramen in the heart of Hollywood, combining his two favorite foods, sushi and ramen.
The menu at Totoyama Sushi & Ramen will satisfy anyone with selections of sushi, sashimi, tempura, ramen, pork cutlets and more. And, while there is a selection of American-ized sushi rolls, such as the Dragon roll, Rainbow roll and others, the majority of the menu is a taste of real authentic Japanese cuisine. The fish is exquisitely delicate and fresh, with a selection of fish flown in from Japan.
We decided to start with a couple of sashimi plates – Otoro Salmon Sashimi with soy sauce and garlic chili oil and Fresh Tuna with garlic chili oil, avocado and zuke sauce. The chili garlic oil is incredible. It consists of twelve ingredients including garlic, chili oil, sesame oil and soy sauce and is full of umami flavor.
What caught my eye was the Aburi Sushi. This is a style of sushi that Chef Yamamoto is introducing to Los Angeles. Aburi means “flame seared.” The fish is heated on rock salt. The heat alters the sushi’s flavor and enhances the fish texture to create an escalated sushi experience.
The 7-piece Aburi sampler came with a scallop with yuzu, Blue Fin chutoro, albacore topped with black sesame and green onion and ponzu, kampachi from japan topped with the garlic chili oil, salmon belly topped with a jalapeno and plum jam and beef takaki and mackeral topped with crispy garlic.
For Nigiri sushi, Totoyama offers a few options, including a “trust me” sampler, an omakase option with 10 pieces of nigiri and miso soup and edamame and a sampler of Japanese fish. We opted to order a la carte and enjoyed yellowtail with yuzu, Blue Fin chutoro with sesame oil and truffle salt, albacore with black sesame and green onion and ponzu, saba (mackerel) with daikon and ponzu and tai (sea bream) with plum and shiso.
I also ordered a toro handroll.
After we ate all the sushi to our hearts content, we ordered a bowl of ramen and selected the Spicy Vegetable Ramen, a chicken-based soup with original soy sauce and carrot, zucchini, beans, eggplant, green onion, bean spouts and string red pepper. I ordered the mild version which still had a bit of heat on it but I loved how the heat was subtle and coated the palate rather than overpowering it.
To complete the authentic Japanese experience at Totoyama Sushi & Ramen in Hollywood, do not miss a trip to the bathroom where you will find a Japanese toilet with all of the digital bells and whistles.
There is no Hollywood glitz at Totoyama and that is perfect for me. Rather than focusing on the superficial outside, Totoyama is focused on quality sushi and ramen. An, to top it all off, the prices are affordable! So, if you are heading to the Pantages or find yourself in Hollywood, know you can get a great meal at Totoyama Sushi & Ramen, a gem on Hollywood Blvd.
Totoyama Sushi & Ramen
6201 Hollywood Blvd Suite #118
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Mon-Wed:11:30 am – 10pm
Thur-Sat:11:30 am – 12am
Sun: 12pm – 10pm
Parking: 2 hours free with validation at 1747 Argyle Ave
Happy Hour:Mon-Thur 4pm-7pm
Late Night Happy Hour: 10pm-Close
Daily Lunch Special: 11:30am – 3pm
Pantages Theater Ticket holders receive 10% off with day of ticket only