Hidden among the Hollywood Hills, Yamashiro is not only a token of Los Angeles culture but also the city’s cinematic history. Yamashiro Hollywood takes pride in the role it has played in entertainment. With the restaurant offering spectacular cityscape views, Japanese-inspired architecture and decor, as well as divine Japanese fusion cuisine, it’s no wonder the “Mountain Palace” has made it on the big screen.
Here is a list of just a few of Hollywood’s hits that turned Yamashiro Hollywood into a movie star.
1. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Action heist film Gone in 60 Seconds starring some of Hollywood’s biggest names — Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie and Michael Peña, just to name a few — follows a thief on a mission to steal 50 luxury cars in order to save his brother. In one of the scenes, we follow “Mirror Man,” played by T.J. Cross, into the driveway of Yamashiro Hollywood. The restaurant’s big glass windows and dramatic entrance paint the scene for when “Mirror Man” poses as a car valet in order to steal a customer’s luxurious car.
2. Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
Memoirs of a Geisha is a period piece set in 1920s Kyoto, Japan directed by Rob Marshall and starring Michelle Yeoh. The story follows the journey of Chiyo — played by Zhang Ziyi — a girl who is forced into servitude at a geisha house. The film borrows the traditional Japanese architecture of Yamashiro Hollywood for multiple scenes. Decorated with red Japanese paper lanterns and a golden glow, the restaurant served as the host for the party held in honor of Sayuri’s debut.
3. Nocturnal Animals (2016) Nocturnal Animals Final Scene
Nocturnal Animals directed by Tom Ford looks into the life of a successful Los Angeles art-gallery owner whose world gets turned upside down when a novel manuscript written by her ex-husband arrives at her door. In the final scene of this psychological thriller, Susan Morrow — played by Amy Adams — sits amid the dimly lit dining area of Yamashiro Hollywood lined with traditional Japanese paintings covering the walls. She turns to the entrance of the restaurant, adorned with a golden chandelier, waiting for her ex-husband to arrive.
4. “Por Favor” by Pitbull featuring Fifth Harmony
Reggaeton and pop star Pitbull collaborated with former girl group Fifth Harmony for their 2017 song “Por Favor.” The video opens with a wide shot of the Japanese palace secluded amid the Hollywood Hills. Then, Pitbull appears in the beautifully lush courtyard garden of Yamashiro Hollywood. The video captures the restaurant’s colorful koi fish, bonsai trees, Japanese artifacts, traditional paintings, and Asian-inspired architecture that make Yamashiro Hollywood the iconic Los Angeles landmark it is.
5. “Flames” by David Guetta featuring Sia
French DJ David Guetta released “Flames” featuring world-renowned pop star Sia in 2018. Along with its release came its cinematic music video directed by Lior Molcho, starring David Guetta and Danny Trejo. In the video, a group of ninjas bring three geishas into Yamashiro Hollywood where they then go into battle with Guetta, who plays “The Emperor,” and his army. This scene highlights the greenery of the restaurant’s garden and the precious artifacts that lie within it.
The next time you treat yourself to a dinner at Yamashiro Hollywood, take in the breathtaking views, the Japanese aesthetic, and see if you recognize any of these iconic scenes from some of Hollywood’s most popular films and music videos.