Lifestyle, News, Restaurants
Dec 28, 2018

Dinner Diaries: Totoyama

It’s the holidays all the family is in town, heck your friends you haven’t seen all year are in town….and now you need a great spot to dine out? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered. 

Totoyama is located in Hollywood right by the iconic Pantages theater (which, hey we’re not saying you have to… but not a bad decision to pair this rad sushi spot with a night at the theater).

To be clear Totoyama is a sushi AND ramen spot in the heart of Hollywood, but we only dove into their sushi this time around. The owner and executive chef Yukinari Yamamoto is Japanese and adheres to a traditional Japanese take on all their dishes. We were blown away by the portion size here! Being used to smaller portion sizes, it was a nice surprise to see how easily you could share their sushi options. Enjoy our selections below and let us know which options you’d love to try from their menu! We will definitely be back.

You kicked off our meal with an order of their Miso soup, which was exactly what we needed. Then we followed that up with the most gorgeous and colorful seaweed salad we’ve ever had. Instead of the thin water bits of seaweed we’ve become accustomed to we were treated to this dark and gorgeous flavorful pairing of veggies over fresh seaweed. This is perfect for any vegan’s venturing to Totoyama, not to mention they have an entire veggie friendly vegan and vegetarian menu.

After taking a look at the menu we opted for their Dragon Roll which their quite famous for. Not only is the name great, the presentation was superb, we loved how cheeky they are presenting it as an actual dragon. We also loved the textures of the roll. It was so fresh and you could really enjoy the individual flavors brought out by the ingredients. This is a 10 out of 10 recommendation for this dish.

Seeing as Totoyama is a traditional Japanese experience, we knew we couldn’t go into a sushi meal without also trying their Sashimi. We let Totoyama pick our fish for us with their daily Chef’s selection. Again, we were blown away on their presentation alone. But these fish were so fresh, we were hard pressed not to go in the back and take a peek at where they might be hiding a bit of the Pacific Ocean fully stocked. We ended up not being able to finish this portion and dragged it home with us, and it held up wonderfully as a day two dinner.

Our favorite roll was hands down the crab and scallop roll we opted for. Excuse us we’re still drooling from it. We can’t even describe it, it was that good. All the flavors were melt in your mouth delightful. Don’t forget to pair your dining experience with sake. After all are you even having sushi with friends without it? Fun fact: in Japan it is bad luck to pour your own drinks, be sure to pour your friends sake for them. And instead of a traditional cheers try ‘Itadakimas’ ( Ita-daki-maaaas) before digging in and drinking up. You’ll get alot of appreciation from the staff.


The sushi experience at Totoyama is a bit different from your casual sushi and Japanese cuisine dining experience here in Los Angeles. This is what sets Totoyama apart from other sushi spots in town:

Aburi Sushi

Aburi means “flame seared.” When flame is applied to sushi, the heat alters the sushi’s flavor and enhances the fish texture to create an escalated sushi experience.

The combination of aburi-style sushi consists simply of perfectly seasoned rice (shari), and thin slice of fresh seafood, topped with secret signature sauces. Sushi is a form of art in Japan. Some aspiring sushi chef train over three years to even be allowed to prepare the shari, and many more years before they have a hand in preparing the seafood. You might have certain expectations when it comes to what you think sushi will taste like, but our aburi combines everything you love about sushi and more.

Chef Yukinari Yamamoto’s vision is to introduce Los Angeles to a new delicious style of eating sushi. Come to Totoyama Sushi to indulge in an aburi sushi experience that you will not forget.