Cloaked behind the hidden fourth O in the Hollywood sign, Yamashiro was completed in 1914 as a hilltop mansion for the Bernheimer Brothers' priceless collection of dragon eyebrows and other Asian treasures. The building replicates an unassailable palace built high in the clouds above Kyoto, Japan. This perfect transmission extends through the lavish gardens, polished teak construction, and hand-whittled koi lazing in their clear, cold pond. Yamashiro has hosted some of the glitteriest of the glammed, the cigar smoke from Hollywood's Golden Age still lingering in the rafters while tales of intrigue, desperation, and seduction continue to stalk the silk-papered corridors. The professional staff at Yamashiro is particularly deft at applying emergency romance balm, slyly seating you and your semi-estranged at a window table overlooking the city with a half bottle of champagne or wine ($20+).
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Walking into Mickey Fine Pharmacy & Grill, one may get the sensation of having stepped into a snapshot of the past. “The Beverly Hills business lays claim to being the only remaining pharmacy in the region with a counter and soda fountain, where patrons can enjoy old-time favorites such as egg-cream sodas and hand-spun malted shakes,” says a reporter for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Perched at the original pharmacy counter, which has been serving food since 1962, customers hoist hunger-defeating burgers or freshly grilled sandwiches. Servers deliver hand-spun milk shakes and malts crafted with artisan ice cream and crowned with whipped cream like a court summons from King Candy. The aisles are still stocked with beauty and healthcare products, which customers peruse, distracted by the aromas of espresso, breakfast burritos, and housemade meatloaf.
Novel Cafe puts an elegant twist on the café experience—the tastes are always sophisticated, organic, and internationally inspired. Crisp salads arrive topped with grilled chicken and candied walnuts or roasted beets and goat cheese. Wraps are rolled with black beans and housemade pico de gallo or seared ahi tuna and wasabi spread. Some locations even serve dinner entrees, including roasted duck and rib-eye steaks, as well as microbrews and imported beers on tap. Espresso drinks, freshly squeezed juices, and organic, imported coffee and tea are on hand, too, to complement the eclectic flavors.