"Kitayama," says the Los Angeles Times, "may well be as close to Japan as one can get on these shores." The restaurant is beautiful, with ornate gardens and sharply furnished interiors where traditional Japanese flower arrangements and blond wood set off the Oriental decor. The menu includes shabu-shabu made with the highest-grade raw beef waved through a pan of boiling water until cooked, and ala carte items such as crab chawanmushi, a hot custard with fresh crab and shiitake mushrooms; or beef shiso rolls, broiled with Asian bechamel sauce. Cooked entrées arrive in a parade of platters, bowls, baskets and boxes, while the sashimi is presented in consummately artistic fashion.
Orange County's OC Weekly: "Savory steak and seafood dishes and unbelievable sushi and sashimi."