Food trends may come and go, but when it comes to LA standby's, sushi has managed to transcend the hype, remaining one of the city's most beloved dining-out experiences. Of course, not every of-the-moment sushi restaurant is successful in the long run, and clearly, Angeleno foodies have been showing preference for the minimal offerings of Sugarfish and KazuNori of late. And yet Katsuya, with its locations in Hollywood, Brentwood, Glendale, and L.A. Live (in addition to their national locations), has been able to stick around, continually serving quality sushi and Japanese plates in an upscale scene. I was thankfully reminded of Katsuya's consistency and quality upon a recent visit when I came to check out their new renovations. They've switched up the interior of the Hollywood location a bit, opening up the space and reinvigorating the furniture, subtly de-emphasizing that previously night-clubby feel for a space that feels brighter and more modern. The interior may be new, but my meal was a reminder that spicy tuna on crispy rice, salmon sashimi with caviar, and baked crab hand rolls are still as satisfyingly delicious now as they were when Katsuya first opened.
Though we came in for lunch, we started out with some cocktails...because why not? We tried two of their signature cocktails, The Burning Mandarin and the Katsuya Fresh. Both were refreshing vodka cocktails. The Burning Mandarin was sweet with a little kick from the chili, while the Katsuya Fresh was exactly as it sounds-- light, fresh, and subtle with cucumber and sake.
I have to say, I've eaten at Katsuya many many times (pretty much every time I see a show at The Pantages), and I regret having never had the Octopus Sashimi. The Octopus was tender and sliced nice and thin, while the lemon-herb relish was citrus-y, refreshing, and really flavorful. I loved the addition of the yuzu-kosho, which added a nice umami flavor to the dish, and little slices of tomatoes provided some fresh pops of sweetness. It was a great sashimi dish, and I will definitely order it again.
Another dish I've surprisingly never tried was the Salmon Sashimi-- a simple, clean sashimi with lemon, cucumber, an onion chutney, and topped with caviar. The salmon was buttery and tender, while the onion chutney was a really nice, flavorful addition. A little dollop of caviar added a lavish element to the simple dish, which would please minimalists and luxe-sushi lovers alike.
Their signature spicy tuna on crispy rice was as delicious as ever. I'm not sure the dish needs anymore explanation, other than, if you have never had this, you're missing out on a key L.A. staple.
Another one of my favorites, the Miso Black Cod was tender, buttery, sweet, and really flavorful. It's a light but satisfying dish that's perfect for those who want to cap off their light sushi lunch.
And since we weren't quite done yet, we also ordered this massive sushi/sashimi sampler, which included some sashimi, nigiri, more spicy tuna on crispy rice, baked crab hand rolls, a rainbow roll, and a California roll topped with albacore. Since I've already waxed poetic about the spicy tuna on crispy rice, the other big highlight was the baked crab hand roll, which was simple but so deliciously satisfying. Both rolls were really nice-- simple, fresh, tightly prepared, and enjoyable. We were completely stuffed after all of this, and a large group could have easily split this platter for lunch.
Overall, our lunch at Katsuya was great. The new interior is nice and refreshing, while the sushi--especially the simpler preparations-- is just as good as ever.