TAO Hollywood Is Big On Food And Atmosphere

Once you open the large heavy doors, say hello to the gigantic statue and find your way down the dark hallway entrance, you arrive in the theatre like TAO, part bar/lounge and part restaurant. At the far end of the space is a humongous bodhisattva octopus like stature which changes it's look via 3-D projections throughout the evening. There's also statues, dragons and unique lighting features housed throughout the multi-level tiered dining room.

The menu combines Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes and is as big as the massive dining room. Guests can choose from small plates, soups, yakitori, barbeque, tempura, noodles, rice, seafood, steak, pork, chicken, duck, vegetables sides, sushi, sashimi and specialties including tuna Pringles, live sea scallops and jalapeno yellowtail sashimi.

We were seated in one of the best spots, a cozy side red velvet couch where we could watch all of the restaurant action. Favorite dishes included the tuna Pringles with wonton chips topped with raw tuna, tomato and truffle aioli; Pad Thai with chicken and shrimp; the omakase chef's selection of sushi and sashimi; Wagyu ribeye teppanyaki with a variety of dips and sauces and glazed Thai bbq chicken with a tomato salad and spicy Thai chili.

We were surprised with a huge display of desserts including mocha, yuzu cheesecake, lemongrass, crème brulee, molten chocolate cake and a giant fortune cookie.

TAO also has a great cocktail menu including the TAO-tini with mango passionfruit vodka, rum cranberry and lime juice; a lychee martini;  the Ruby Red Dragon with grapefruit and rose vodka, yuzu citrus and pomegranate and Bubbles and Berries with champagne, vodka, St. Germain and strawberries.

There's really nothing like TAO restaurant in LA. Go for the atmosphere, stay for the food.