Takami Sushi & Robata

Experience modern Japanese cuisine with a view 21 floors above Wilshire

By Karen Young

Perched 21 floors above the financial district, Takami Sushi & Robata just celebrated its 11th anniversary—and its continued notoriety as the first open-air wraparound patio atop a high-rise restaurant in DTLA. With its 360-degree panoramic vista, amidst towering buildings and Hockney-esque rooftop pools, this modern Japanese-influenced hot spot is as well suited for business meals as it is for nights on the town.

Sleek wood and leather banquettes line the indoor/outdoor space, with lounge seating and tabletops dotting the panoramic perimeter. Separate interior side-by-side robata and sushi bars provide an entertaining seating option for solo diners, or for those eager to watch chefs at work.

Executive chef Takashi “Stan” Ota and Japan-trained sushi master Yoshihito Hirata have been aboard since the beginning, sourcing only the freshest ingredients to create tantalizing dishes that thrill all the senses. Start off with an appetizer or two, especially if you’re sharing. Perhaps the Takami edamame, with garlic, butter, and soy sauce, followed by scallops on the half-shell—five tender, oven-baked scallops topped with herb garlic butter. Everyone’s favorite usual suspect, spicy tuna on crispy rice with avocado and jalapeño, is another winner.

If you’re in a salad mood, you might try shaking things up with the miso Caesar, a twist on the traditional that includes dried cranberries, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and a miso-Caesar dressing. But whether you go with greens or not, ordering from the robata grill is a definite must. Charcoal standouts include the Angus rib eye, shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, corn on the cob, and tsukune (chicken meatballs).
The sushi and sashimi menu is designed to appeal both to purists and those who favor creative concoctions. House specialties sure to excite taste buds include the halibut carpaccio, thinly sliced and sprinkled with sea salt, pepper, and a drizzle of yuzu oil; Kyushi kanpachi topped with yuzu, sweet white balsamic, and a sprinkling of crispy onions; and, for fusion-seekers, Japanese tacos—gyoza skins filled with spicy tuna, crab, shrimp, and avocado, topped with a spicy mayo.

Specialty rolls are among the most popular at Takami, and are generously portioned for sharing. The signature Takami roll—spicy albacore and cucumber topped with peppered tuna and yellowtail with jalapeño ponzu, is a favorite. The Penthouse Roll is also an original creation featuring spicy tuna with a tempura crunch wrapped in soy paper and topped with avocado. Another high roller is the lemon albacore roll—spicy tuna and cucumber wrapped with albacore and topped with thin lemon slices.

If you crave something sweet, you could go the healthy route and order the fruit plate, but why would you when there’s a churro waffle in the house? Who can resist a house-made Belgian waffle “churro” style (meaning it looks like a waffle and tastes like a churro), served with vanilla ice cream and warm maple syrup? But if decadent chocolate is your thing, then the molten chocolate cake with yuzu is the choice for you. Better yet, order both, for a truly balanced meal.


Dinner Mon–Thu 5 PM–9:30 PM; Fri–Sat 5 PM–10:30 PM; Sun 5 PM–9 PM
Lunch: Mon–Fri 11:30 AM–2 PM

price range

$6 (edamame) to $39 (Takami sashimi plate)