Bar Hayama

★★★★☆
Sushi, stars and a crackling firepit set the mood at this romantic hideaway on Sawtelle.
  • 1803 Sawtelle Blvd

    Los Angeles, CA 90025

    Cross street: Nebraska Street

    Map & Directions
  • 310-235-2000

About Bar Hayama

Hours
Mon-Thu 12pm-2:30pm; 6pm-10:30pm Fri 12pm-2:30pm; 6pm-11pm Sat 6pm-11pm Sun 6pm-10pm

Food

Food
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Nothing like eating outside in April!

3
★★★★★

Nothing like eating outside in April!

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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

3
★★★★★

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

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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.

2
★★★★★

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.

Pros: Incredible Japanese

Cons: None

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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!).

2
★★★★★

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!).

Pros: Dining outdoors by fire pit, FOOD, large sake selection

Cons: The fire pit can get full fast on busier nites so try to call ahead.

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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.

2
★★★★☆

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.

Pros: Delicious, fresh sushi

Cons: Can get pricey - good for a special occasion/outing

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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...

0
★☆☆☆☆

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...

Pros: Water refills, garlic edamame

Cons: reservation, service, sake

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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.

2
★★★★★

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.

Pros: great food

Cons: expensive

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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.

2
★★★★★

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.

Pros: ambience, sushi

Cons: wish it were open past midnight, but then again, who is?

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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.

0
★☆☆☆☆

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.

Pros: The firepit

Cons: from the hostess to the servers to the busboys

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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.

1
★★★☆☆

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.

Pros: Sushi, outdoor fire pit/sake bar

Cons: Indoor noise

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Can't really complain too much about this spot except to say that it was just sorta bleh -- i was expecting to be dazzled and was left in want of something more. Yes, the outside firepit is a great place to sit and the menu is extensive -- they have japanese tapas & even have macrobiotics! but the execution just didn't cut it (so to speak). The albacore was tasty but not the best I've had (go to Take Sushi on Sunset for the best albacore sushi in town) and the popcorn shrimp was crispy, but wasn't anything I couldn't get elsewhere. THe salmon was ok & the crispy rice/spicy tuna roll was indeed the one stellar item -- squared and spicy and BIG. but like i said ... everything else just wasn't incredible. Maybe it was an off night, but I think at this point it's still fairly new & it seems like it's trying too hard to be a cool scene instead of having really inventive dishes or sushi. Not sure if i'll come back -- maybe if someone else is paying I will - ha!!

1
★★★☆☆

Can't really complain too much about this spot except to say that it was just sorta bleh -- i was expecting to be dazzled and was left in want of something more. Yes, the outside firepit is a great place to sit and the menu is extensive -- they have japanese tapas & even have macrobiotics! but the execution just didn't cut it (so to speak). The albacore was tasty but not the best I've had (go to Take Sushi on Sunset for the best albacore sushi in town) and the popcorn shrimp was crispy, but wasn't anything I couldn't get elsewhere. THe salmon was ok & the crispy rice/spicy tuna roll was indeed the one stellar item -- squared and spicy and BIG. but like i said ... everything else just wasn't incredible. Maybe it was an off night, but I think at this point it's still fairly new & it seems like it's trying too hard to be a cool scene instead of having really inventive dishes or sushi. Not sure if i'll come back -- maybe if someone else is paying I will - ha!!

Pros: Cool fire pit, crispy rice roll is a standout

Cons: Price, most menu items dont dazzle

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BAR HAYAMA opened on 7/7/07 at 7 pm (according to jonathan, our bartender). the new space is very chic ? complete with a fire pit outside (where it used to be an open wasteland when it used to be sasabune). the bar is nicely decorated with different kinds of sake bottles on the wall. we decided to share a bottle of sake. it really did not taste like sake ? more like a bottle of wine akin to an eiswein, riesling or gewurztraminer. the sake was a hana sake flavored with lychee. it was truly excellent. we were seated at the sushi bar where CHEF TOSHI prepared our meals. we all opted to have omakase. we started off with crab and some pickles. that was ok. then, we had a tray with tuna and spinach; pumpkin (it?s the halloween theme); and seared albacore with green beans and carrot. i thought the pumpkin was ok (i am not a big fan of pumpkin). the albacore was quite fresh. i thought the tuna was ok. next, we had chunks of yellowtail in a peanut sauce with julienned pumpkin. this dish worked. i actually enjoyed the pumpkin with the peanut sauce. the yellowtail was fresh and absorbed the sauce well. we then had the lobster tempura. i liked this dish. it was served hot and had the lobter remained tender and juicy. we also had the lobster maki. still fresh and juicy. we then had one tuna nigiri. this was just ok. i was told not to dip it in soy sauce. it needed salt. plus, it did not melt in my mouth. next, we had a crabcake. this was pretty good. it was freshly made, tender inside, crispy on the outside and piping hot. finally, we had unagi. the unagi was sweet and melted in your mouth. for dessert, we shared a chocolate souffle and an apple crisp (??). from the bites i had of each, they were both pretty tasty.

2
★★★★☆

BAR HAYAMA opened on 7/7/07 at 7 pm (according to jonathan, our bartender). the new space is very chic ? complete with a fire pit outside (where it used to be an open wasteland when it used to be sasabune). the bar is nicely decorated with different kinds of sake bottles on the wall. we decided to share a bottle of sake. it really did not taste like sake ? more like a bottle of wine akin to an eiswein, riesling or gewurztraminer. the sake was a hana sake flavored with lychee. it was truly excellent. we were seated at the sushi bar where CHEF TOSHI prepared our meals. we all opted to have omakase. we started off with crab and some pickles. that was ok. then, we had a tray with tuna and spinach; pumpkin (it?s the halloween theme); and seared albacore with green beans and carrot. i thought the pumpkin was ok (i am not a big fan of pumpkin). the albacore was quite fresh. i thought the tuna was ok. next, we had chunks of yellowtail in a peanut sauce with julienned pumpkin. this dish worked. i actually enjoyed the pumpkin with the peanut sauce. the yellowtail was fresh and absorbed the sauce well. we then had the lobster tempura. i liked this dish. it was served hot and had the lobter remained tender and juicy. we also had the lobster maki. still fresh and juicy. we then had one tuna nigiri. this was just ok. i was told not to dip it in soy sauce. it needed salt. plus, it did not melt in my mouth. next, we had a crabcake. this was pretty good. it was freshly made, tender inside, crispy on the outside and piping hot. finally, we had unagi. the unagi was sweet and melted in your mouth. for dessert, we shared a chocolate souffle and an apple crisp (??). from the bites i had of each, they were both pretty tasty.

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We have been to Bar Hayama twice. The first time we went was on a lark. We were walking by and decided to see if they could seat us. They were kind enough to find a way to seat the four of us even though the place was packed. This was on a Saturday evening. The second time was with a reservation. We were seated at the corner of the fire pit, which was pretty spectacular.

Both times, we ordered a mass of small dishes, as well as some sushi and sashimi, and that was our dinner. We liked everything we tried. The fish seemed especially fresh. The small dishes were quite really imaginative. There were too many to list here, but there were some neat ones like a crab cigar, also a carpaccio that was very good, and so forth.

They had an impressive selection of sake. We ordered flights so that we could try a bunch of different sakes.

They also have entrees, but we gorged on the small dishes so didn't try them.

The service was generally pretty attentive.

This is a great place for out of town guests, especially if you can get seated around the fire pit.

2
★★★★★

We have been to Bar Hayama twice. The first time we went was on a lark. We were walking by and decided to see if they could seat us. They were kind enough to find a way to seat the four of us even though the place was packed. This was on a Saturday evening. The second time was with a reservation. We were seated at the corner of the fire pit, which was pretty spectacular.

Both times, we ordered a mass of small dishes, as well as some sushi and sashimi, and that was our dinner. We liked everything we tried. The fish seemed especially fresh. The small dishes were quite really imaginative. There were too many to list here, but there were some neat ones like a crab cigar, also a carpaccio that was very good, and so forth.

They had an impressive selection of sake. We ordered flights so that we could try a bunch of different sakes.

They also have entrees, but we gorged on the small dishes so didn't try them.

The service was generally pretty attentive.

This is a great place for out of town guests, especially if you can get seated around the fire pit.

Pros: Great food, huge selection of sake

Cons: It ain't cheap!

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Went to Bar Hayama on a Saturday night and was promptly seated at the cozy fire pit. Our waiter promptly took our order and then we never saw him again for another 30 minutes while others around us were being served. When our meal finally arrived we inquired about the appetizer we had ordered and with a quizical stare he asked us, "Oh you didn't receive it?" We finally received our appetizer approximately 20 minutes after completing our entrees. The sushi was very fresh but the experience of the food was completely overshadowed by the poor service that we had received.

1
★★☆☆☆

Went to Bar Hayama on a Saturday night and was promptly seated at the cozy fire pit. Our waiter promptly took our order and then we never saw him again for another 30 minutes while others around us were being served. When our meal finally arrived we inquired about the appetizer we had ordered and with a quizical stare he asked us, "Oh you didn't receive it?" We finally received our appetizer approximately 20 minutes after completing our entrees. The sushi was very fresh but the experience of the food was completely overshadowed by the poor service that we had received.

Pros: Fresh sushi, nice outdoor seating

Cons: Service

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I've been pretty fortunate to have been treated to some of the best sushi restaurants in LA by people who've been around for awhile and really know sushi out here... and I have to say that Bar Hayama in West LA is far superior to them all. Go to the sushi bar and ask to sit with Zoran (head instructor at Toshi's prestigious California Sushi Academy) or Toshi, himself -- and you will be in for a treat. The omikase (chef's choice) is expensive but well worth the cash as you are served countless courses of primo and exotic fish, some of it imported directly from Japan. The vibe is hip and romantic outside, as the outdoor patio is seated around a sleek, square fire pit. The inside is spacious and would work for parties -- and sitting at the sushi bar feels like you're being entertained in their home. Zoran sings along to some of the music while he prepares your food, he and Toshi joke around -- are friendly with the customers but also maintain the standard of high end restaurants: they strike the perfect balance between letting the customers eat their dinner and entertaining. They anticipate what the customers want -- and it is this level of service, coupled with their obvious enthusiasm for sharing their love of sushi with you, that seems to make so many of their customers regulars. Bar Hayama is unpretentious, authentic, delectable, fun, and a great value... can't wait to go back!!!!!!! check out their website for pricing -- but you can easily go there on a budget if you want to or need to... and you could splurge for a fancy occasion as well.

2
★★★★★

I've been pretty fortunate to have been treated to some of the best sushi restaurants in LA by people who've been around for awhile and really know sushi out here... and I have to say that Bar Hayama in West LA is far superior to them all. Go to the sushi bar and ask to sit with Zoran (head instructor at Toshi's prestigious California Sushi Academy) or Toshi, himself -- and you will be in for a treat. The omikase (chef's choice) is expensive but well worth the cash as you are served countless courses of primo and exotic fish, some of it imported directly from Japan. The vibe is hip and romantic outside, as the outdoor patio is seated around a sleek, square fire pit. The inside is spacious and would work for parties -- and sitting at the sushi bar feels like you're being entertained in their home. Zoran sings along to some of the music while he prepares your food, he and Toshi joke around -- are friendly with the customers but also maintain the standard of high end restaurants: they strike the perfect balance between letting the customers eat their dinner and entertaining. They anticipate what the customers want -- and it is this level of service, coupled with their obvious enthusiasm for sharing their love of sushi with you, that seems to make so many of their customers regulars. Bar Hayama is unpretentious, authentic, delectable, fun, and a great value... can't wait to go back!!!!!!! check out their website for pricing -- but you can easily go there on a budget if you want to or need to... and you could splurge for a fancy occasion as well.

Pros: awesome food, perfect ambiance, great service, amazing chefs, super fun, great value, easy parking

Cons: none

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Seating options include outside tables, inside sushi bar, restaurant, or sake bar. I sat in front of the fire pit which adds a nice warmth to the ocean-cooled nights. The first thing we noticed right away was the enormous sake collection. Being a tad new to sake, the waitress suggeted the Petals combo, you get 3 large shot glasses of sake for only $10. There were around 7 combinations of these little sake glasses--perfect for a beginner, or a sake connoiseur who wants a little variety. The garlic edamame was amazingly addicting. We tried the skewers appetizer and the frog's legs. The former was very delicious with a combo of chicken, shrimp, and scallop, with various peppers and asparagus. The latter was something I had never tried and wanted to; they were lightly battered and served with lemon, tomatoes, and onions and were really tasty. The sushi was phenomenal. Though one of our fish was mixed up, they promptly corrected the error and we had hamachi (yellowtail tuna) melting in our mouths in no time. The food/wine/beer/sake selection is fabulous, the decor is inviting, and sitting around the fire is a really unique experience especially for such upscale dining. Because you are getting superb service, excellent appetizer and entree choices with amazingly fresh and tasty sushi, prices run a tad high for a post-college-grad student. But, as soon as I get my next paycheck, I'm totally heading back there. Oh, and there is valet for those people who know that finding parking on Sawtelle can be difficult at best. Go to Hayama, you won't regret it!!

2
★★★★★

Seating options include outside tables, inside sushi bar, restaurant, or sake bar. I sat in front of the fire pit which adds a nice warmth to the ocean-cooled nights. The first thing we noticed right away was the enormous sake collection. Being a tad new to sake, the waitress suggeted the Petals combo, you get 3 large shot glasses of sake for only $10. There were around 7 combinations of these little sake glasses--perfect for a beginner, or a sake connoiseur who wants a little variety. The garlic edamame was amazingly addicting. We tried the skewers appetizer and the frog's legs. The former was very delicious with a combo of chicken, shrimp, and scallop, with various peppers and asparagus. The latter was something I had never tried and wanted to; they were lightly battered and served with lemon, tomatoes, and onions and were really tasty. The sushi was phenomenal. Though one of our fish was mixed up, they promptly corrected the error and we had hamachi (yellowtail tuna) melting in our mouths in no time. The food/wine/beer/sake selection is fabulous, the decor is inviting, and sitting around the fire is a really unique experience especially for such upscale dining. Because you are getting superb service, excellent appetizer and entree choices with amazingly fresh and tasty sushi, prices run a tad high for a post-college-grad student. But, as soon as I get my next paycheck, I'm totally heading back there. Oh, and there is valet for those people who know that finding parking on Sawtelle can be difficult at best. Go to Hayama, you won't regret it!!

Pros: sake selection, outdoor fire pit, valet

Cons: not open sunday

 

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