Archive for the 'Takao – Brentwood' Category


This is our neighborhood go-to sushi bar. We were the very first customers at Takao when it first opened and we have been going ever since. We just let Takao do “his thing.”

Taiko 1

From upper right corner – marinated jellyfish with cucumber, Abalone, Japanese tiny shrimp with caviar, Blue Crab with Spicy Mayo Sauce

Taiko - Spanish

Spanish Mackerel with scallions, ginger, carrot and daikon

Taikoo - truffle

Japanese fresh scallop, uni, shaved summer truffles, pink peppercorns

Taiko - mushroom wrapped

Dish presented

Taiko - mushroom open

Matsutake mushrooms, shrimp, Ginko, Pickled Ginger, Japanese lime

Taikko - tempura

Tempura of a Natto Roll, Tempura Green Onion

Taiko - whole fish

Grilled Yellowtail, chopped ginger, onion

Taiko - toro

Toro Sushi

Not pictured – Salmon Skin Hand Rolls

Taiko - uni squid roll

Uni Squid Hand  Roll

For the freshest fish, for the most interesting preparations – the is THE place to go.


At the last minute, we decided to have a quickie lunch at Takao. The best way to order is to just have the chef choose the freshest best fish of the day. Pictures were taken with an i-phone so picture quality is somewhat iffy.

Tuna sampler to be eaten from right to left – Blue Fin, Big Eye, Toro, “Light” tuna chopped topped with caviar

On the right Red Snapper, salt, yuzu paste and on the left Halibut, green onion, spicy daikon radish

Soft Shell Crab with green, yellow and red bell pepper, fried won ton strips

Kohada and Spanish Mackerel

Salmon Skin Roll

Salmon Eggs, quail egg and Uni, quail egg

This was a delicious last minute decision. A definite must if you are in the neighborhood.

Takao – Brentwood

It’s been a while that we have just let Takao orchestrate our meal as we have tended to just have some sushi for lunch. We decided to let Takao do a smaller version of his omakase.

The always smiling Takao – for the record we have been sitting in the same seats in front of Takao ever since he opened – we were the very first customers.

Beer for John

BYO Champagne for Takao and me

Miso Soup

Snow Crab, Sliced Cucumber, Radish, Vinegar saucing

Spanish Mackerel, Green Onion, Daikon, Carrot Shaving with a Dashi saucing

Wrapped in soy paper dotted with sesame seeds, blue crab, avocado, cucumber, lettuce, tobiko served with a spicy miso sauce for dipping. This is listed on the menu as a blue crab salad roll – notice that there was no rice in the roll.

Toro Tataki wrapped in seaweed and topped with caviar

Fried Tofu that is grilled at the last minute – filled with Natto – the tofu is crispy and almost resembles a flaky pastry

Natto filling

Spicy Deep-Fried Soft Shell Crab, Yellow, Green and Red Pepper, Julienne Won Ton Skins Deep-Fried, Jalapeno, Chili Flakes and Chili Powder

This is a special tofu that Takao gets from a “mom and pop” place in Gardena. He served it cold surrounded by ice cubes with pea shoots, cherry tomatoes and cucumber. You were to dip the tofu in soy sauce using whatever combinations of the condiments provided below.


From left to right – bonito flakes, radish, green onion, ginger – Takao’s favorite additions were the ginger and green onion.

Now sushi



Giant Clam


Squid and Natto ( if you haven’t guessed Takao knows we are huge natto fans)


Excellent quality and well-executed Japanese cuisine.


Takao for lunch is wonderful – we usually just let the chef choose the best fish and we split each order. The photos are not bad considering they were taken with an iphone.

Sushi Chefs at work

Our superb chef

Yebisu – my husband’s favorite sushi bar beer

Miso Soup


Yellowtail Belly

Kanpachi with onion, cilantro, jalapeno and ponzu sauce

Red Snapper with seaweed salt, yuzu paste, yuzu juice and yuzu zest

Kodai (baby red snapper) – skin on, seared, ginger, green onion, tamari sauce

Sashimi of spot prawn tail topped with caviar, yuzu juice

Deep fried spot prawn head

On the left uni mixed with squid cut up into tiny strips. On the right toro tataki with green onion

A perfect, lovely lunch.

Takao – Brentwood

John and I were the very first customers when he opened Takao, approximately 10 years ago. I used to feel that Takao was able to fuse east and west with incredible finesse; his saucing was extraordinary. His ingredient quality was obviously not like Urasawa’s, but for a small Westside sushi bar it went way beyond the usual. During the last year there has been a definite slippage in the quality of the ingredients. Also, the cooked items don’t have the same care and attention they once had. It is with regret that I can no longer recommend Takao.

BYO Wine

BYO Wine

Smoked Salmon on a fried dumpling, radish sprouts, summer truffles, avocado, tomatoes, yuzu – this was the best dish of the night

Kumamoto oysters, scallions, ponzu – good, but not even close to the quality of oysters at Bouchon

Blue Fin Tuna Cubes, fresh Wasabi, soy sauce – just chunks of tuna with a wad of wasabi on top

Squid, caviar, green onion, radish, fish broth with sake – the dish fell apart as you ate it and you ended up with caviar floating in the broth – the soup bowl was not made for slurping.

Spanish Mackerel, scallions, white onion, carrot, ponzu


Matsutake mushroom soup with shrimp, hamo (whitefish), ginko nuts, mitsuba leaf, light bonito broth

The bonito broth – Takao used to excel at stocks and broth – this was in a word weak.

King Crab, pickled ginger root, vinegar sauce – not a favorite of mine – personal preference

Green Tea noodle wrapped with flounder, soba soup – this was just not good, a mess with gluey green noodle “stuffing”

Close-up of the flounder

A couple of pieces of sushi – no photo

As this is the second “iffy” meal at Takao, I doubt we will return. This is just not like the Takao of past years.