Amazing sashimi, deceptively upscale, helpful and friendly staff!
I'll preface by saying I've lived in Tokyo and consider myself very knowledgeable about sushi/sashimi/etc.
My father and I visited Takao early last week on a whim as he was passing through LA on a trip. I'm afraid we dressed too informally for the restaurant because from seeing the humble exterior and simple interior, I had no inkling that it was as classy as it turned out to be. Before even opening the menu, I realized this place was the real deal by the fact that everyone from the server (who I later found out calls himself ""Rocky"") to the chefs are actually Japanese. Opening the menu and seeing what seemed to be very high prices confirmed it: We were underdressed.
This didn't phase our server, who was very polite and helpful. I ordered the yellowtail dish, the toro spring rolls, and the aoika, which they had run out of two days prior. Rocky was very apologetic and we resorted to the tako (octopus) with lemon/cilantro sauce.
To be honest, I was momentarily afraid I had brought my father to a typical overpriced, pretentious LA restaurant. No sooner did I see the gorgeous platings of these sashimi did I find out how wrong I was. This restaurant has it all--the care taken to ensure a pleasing, artistic looking dish was only outdone by how delicious the sashimi was. The tako was shockingly fresh, and the tangy sauce really accented the distinct octopus texture. It was all amazing. I would rate these simple dishes even above the omakase from Sushi Roku, and that's saying a lot.
Our server asked if we wouldn't like to try a very traditional style hamachi nigiri, which of course we did. That was probably the most delicious sushi I've ever had, including some great sushi-eating experiences in Japan.
A couple of suggestions: Do not go to Takao expecting run-of-the-mill sushi or rolls. They have them, yes, but that's clearly not what they specialize in, and you'll be doing yourself a disservice. It's pricy, but worth it!