memoirs of… geisha house, hollywood


lucky me – hollywood two nights in a row! saturday at geisha house was the official celebration for figi’s birthday.

at the same time, geisha house is both hard to find and hard to miss. with so many bright blinking lights along hollywood boulevard, another set of blinking lights does’t stand out much. but, geisha house has no sign, and instead, identifies itself with a pink neon wall. the $8 valet and the entrance, too, are on the side street, cherokee, so without knowing in advance what to look for, we drove by it. twice.


geisha house’s main dining room

you’d never guess how enormous the space is from the oustside. the entire place is like a chaotic little piece of tokyo under one roof. the cherokee entrance leads down a narrow hallway with a low ceiling that opens up into a long alley of a bar that connects the dining rooms. on one end there is a small dining room with a few tables and booths, as well as the sushi bar. the other end of the bar spills out into the main dining room.

we waited for the rest of the party in the low lounge seating, which is backed up against a photo montage mural of geishas painting their faces. the specialty cocktails are themed around geisha-dom, but look too sweet. i’ll wait for sake with dinner, though maybe a little warm alcohol would have been good because the a/c had been pumped up way too high – brr. the back wall of the actual bar, which we are facing, climbs past the ceiling to the second floor. the dolce restaurant group must have a thing for visually stimulating bars, with fire behind the bar at dolce enoteca, and here at geisha house, tiny tv screens flashing japan-related movies. first lost in tranlation and later, some sort of japanese porn.

we have to pass through the main dining room to go upstairs; our table is on the circular balcony. an impressive red tower shoots up the center, with fireplaces at both the the bottom and top. it’s not meant for warmth, just for ambience and some more visual stimulation. more evidence of the dolce group’s pyromania.

most of my interaction with the staff is smile-and-nod on the outside, but gag-roll-eyes- oh-really?-hmm on the inside. our server is dressed in what is supposedly traditional japanese fisherman’s garb, but looks like a striped benetton shirt from 1985. he lets us know that they have a sommelier, and gently translates for us…it “means wine connoisseur.” oh really? we would never have known such a fancy word! our sommelier is a petite guido in a pin striped suit and slicked back hair. partly because the restaurant is extremely loud, and partly because of his thick italian accent, i can’t understand his explanations of how geisha house’s sake selection is the most extensive in the area. again, oh really? guido whips out a tiny photon light to point out this and that on the sake list to the birthday boy, then returns with the wakatake sake. for all that sticking with tradition and knowledge of japanese sake, he pours the ladies first. hmmm.


wakatake sake, $80 a bottle

kanpai!

the sake was crisp and, to my liking, rather sweet. the first kanpai! and we were on were way.

geisha house’s menu, like its environment and decor, has a little bit of everything: hot and cold small plates, sushi, sashimi, robata-yaki, salads, oden, soup, rice, and tempura. i wanted to start with oysters. when i asked the waiter what kind they were, he said they were “from maine.” what kind, though? when he gave me a blank look, i just told him to bring me a half dozen.


oysters “from maine”

nigiri sushi – sake (salmon)

there’s not much to say about the sushi, other than that it was far too expensive for it being just *eh*. i am not fond of sake (salmon) sushi, so i took words for it from my left and right that it was good enough to make two more orders. the rest was maki sushi, from a list that had some ridiculous names.


ride ’em cowboy roll

squishy heaven roll

i didn’t get to taste the cowboy roll, made with beef filet, asparagus, red pepper and scallions. the heaven roll, with chopped toro, special tuna, and spicy tuna, was wrapped in soy paper and just too squishy, even with julienned cucumber.


only holly would: hollywood roll

no pot o’ gold: rainbow roll

of course we had to order the hollywood roll. crab tempura, avocado, and cucumber, were presented dramatically with drizzles of unagi kabayashi sauce. the last roll, which the waiter recommended, over the rainbow, was only okay. none of the sushi was outstanding.


yakitori with mysterious green spots

beef filet and asparagus

the robata-yaki and hot items were better. three skewers of yakitori were supposedly sauced with teriyaki glaze, but one of them mysteriously had little green spots – wasabi? rather thin slices of beef filet alternate with asparagus on the beef skewers.


bacon-wrapped cherry tomatoes

the bacon-wrapped cherry tomatoes were my favorite of the evening (except for the oysters “from maine”). all the robata-yaki dishes come with dipping sauces. i can’t accurately identify them, except for the spicy sauce – which seems to have been just a squirt out of the sriracha bottle.


(popcorn) rock shrimp tempura

the colonel’s? chicken karaage

from the fryer, there was chicken karaage and rock shrimp tempura. both were presented on little red napkins that made it look like it had come straight from the colonel’s bucket. the shrimp, which looked like popcorn, was popular at the table. the chicken karaage wasn’t what i am used to. although the chicken was cut large and fairly tender, the meat was bland, and it didn’t seem to have been dipped in any sort of batter before being fried. it was also glazed with a sauce that was almost too sweet. i’m more accustomed to salty chicken, an obvious fry batter, and no glaze, just sauce for dipping.


molten chocolate birthday cake

ice cream nuggets

for dessert, the birthday boy got a molten chocolate cake, properly presented in a square lacqered bento box, with a candle in the vanilla ice cream. it’s chocolate and ice cream, so i didn’t complain. ice cream nuggets were a fancy version of japanese tempura ice cream that i’ve had in local sushi bars. ok, so maybe the apple crisp would have been better ;)

our group had fun as we always do. the geisha house is aesthetically impressive, but the food was only so-so for how much it cost. awwww, and we didn’t even catch a glimpse of mr. kutcher, or any other celeb for that matter. i can say now i’ve been to geisha house, and i think that’s enough.

geisha house
6633 hollywood blvd. (at cherokee)
hollywood, ca 90028
323.460.6300
www.geishahousehollywood.com

(don’t go to www dot geisha house dot com – that’s an asian porn site, go figger!)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • Anonymous

    Too bad the foods is so “plain jane”, your pics made it look delicious. Your comments about the service (“sommelier means wine connoisseur” and “main oysters”)–classic.

    -Seo

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed the food very much, especially the cowboy roll. The sommelier did an excellent job recommending our sake, and everyone really liked it. – JF

  • Anonymous

    This is the first time on your site that I thought the food actually looked bad. The only things that looked edible were the sake and the bacon wrapped tomatoes. Thanks for going to Hollywood for me – I think I can safely stick to the westside.

  • sarah j. gim

    yes, “guido” is a strongly negative word, isn’t it? i just couldn’t resist…;) the sake, though was very good. kanpai!

    yes, sorry about the terrible looking food – that’s just my amateur photography *eek!* but then again, wouldn’t want to make the photos look deceptively good, right? *heehee*

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t insulting your photography in anyway – it’s always excellent. I can just tell the food is bad!

  • sarah j. gim

    oh! no worries about the photos ;) but don’t completely write off hollywood! there are still a few good ones over there…

  • James

    I had a great time…it was def. fun. But I think your review sums it up fairly well although I think I enjoyed the food a bit more than you did.

    I remember being shocked when sommelier was explained to us.

    I would go back, but there are many places I’d rather go first.

  • James

    I had a great time…it was def. fun. But I think your review sums it up fairly well although I think I enjoyed the food a bit more than you did.

    I remember being shocked when sommelier was explained to us.

    I would go back, but there are many places I’d rather go first.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Sarah- you forgot to mention the plastic kiddie boosters we sat on. LOL! I think Geisha house has a great idea going but they’re trying a little too hard. The actors/waiters are such a riot. Only in Hollywood!

  • Liz

    I think your review is spot Sarah :o) I had so much fun with all of you at Geisha House! I enjoyed the sake, robata-yaki, and the tempura shrimp. Everything else was “eh” in my opinion. Apple crisp would definitely have been better than the ice cream balls lol.

    The waiters were ridiculous. They looked more like mimes than Japanese fishermen in their striped shirts.

    My only real complaint about the place is so ridiculously loud due to the chaotic “little Tokyo” atmosphere combined with a layout that produces craptacular acoustics. I couldn’t hear much of what was said at the other end of our kiddie table. I didn’t even know that the server defined “sommelier” for us! Either the regular clientele causes the staff to not expect much in the brains department, or our group looks like a bunch of idiots.

  • sarah j. gim

    LOL!!!

    I think we definitely look like idiots!

    LOL!!!

  • Anonymous

    Skip this place! It will hopefully be replaced by something better soon.

    If you want to take a chance going their because you read some ‘good reviews’ you’ll soon realize that such hype was probably written by the managers. The sushi is awful, the staff is apathetic and rude, and the entire experience felt phony. You are better off going to Skooby’s across the street for a hot dog.

  • Anonymous

    Skip this place! It will hopefully be replaced by something better soon.

    If you want to take a chance going their because you read some ‘good reviews’ you’ll soon realize that such hype was probably written by the managers. The sushi is awful, the staff is apathetic and rude, and the entire experience felt phony. You are better off going to Skooby’s across the street for a hot dog.

  • DAJ

    Do geishas really serve these types of food?

  • H. C.

    vivid descriptions! OMG Japanese porn?!

    Actually I’ll be going there tonight, maybe things have changed after a year and a half — will post on my blog @ http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous

    is your food really that bad?
    it seems that ppl are very unhappy with you guys.

  • freeastrology

    http://www.freeastrology.us

    A study of the positions and relationships of the sun, moon,
    stars, and planets in order to judge their influence on human
    actions.it consists of interpreting the influence of stars and
    planets on earthly affairs and human destinies

  • skincare

    http://www.skincareinfo.us

    most people don’t think twice about consulting with a doctor
    and making an appointment or even about going through the process
    of the surgery itself, the status of the patient’s skin after the
    fact is often not taken into account

  • exporters

    http://www.exportersinfo.com

    Methods of transfer include a product or good being mailed,
    hand-delivered or downloaded from an internet site.
    It can be sent in the form of a facsimile, email or during
    a telephone conversation.

  • voip-world

    http://www.voip-world.us

    Incoming phone calls can be automatically routed to your VoIP phone, regardless of where you are connected to the network.
    Take your VoIP phone with you on a trip, and wherever you connect to the Internet, you can receive incoming calls.
    Free phone numbers for use with VoIP are available in the USA, UK and other countries from organizations such as VoIP User.
    Call center agents using VoIP phones can work from anywhere with a sufficiently fast and stable Internet connection.
    voip-worlds

  • viagra

    The anti-impotency treatment you are going to adopt just after being identified with erectile dysfunction is not likely to yield any fruitful result if you do not abide by the precautionary instructions recommended by the physician. For instance, after procuring viagra online if you administer cheap viagra without providing the necessary details to the doctor with regard to your medical history then there are chances that viagra intake might prove disastrous to you. Most particularly, if you are taking nitrate based medicine such as nitroglycerin patches to treat a specific medical condition you should inform the doctor immediately so that he doesn’t suggest you to buy viagra. The usage of Viagra by any person using nitrate-based medicines can trigger off health disaster and as such you can definitely avoid the imminent harm by explaining your medical history to the doctor and avoiding to buy viagra online if the drug is not meant for you.

  • Anonymous
  • Anna

    Everything on this site always looks to good to eat!!! The Bacon Wrapped Cherry Tomatoes, Beef Skewers and Rock Shrimp Tempura are just my speed. Thanks for taking me there!

Previous post:

Next post: