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30th July
2009
written by spd

Katsuya.  View from the bar.  (img: Sean Patrick Doyle)

Katsuya. View from the bar. (above img: Sean Patrick Doyle, below img: Katsuya)

I’m not one to flock to see-and-be-seen haute Japanese; I usually prefer sake and street food at a clamourous izakaya.  However, this hip creation of sushi guru Katuya Uechi and renowned designer Philippe Starck is definitely worth a visit.  Even sitting at the bar, the décor is infectiously chic.  High-gloss white tables with lounge seating and expansive, grainy, back-lit photos of geisha lips, dripping with shimmering lip glass.  The ambiance is more “VIP club” than “fine dining” and that’s exactly what’s intended.  The food is also stellar and much of that is due to the seafood purveyor.  The flawless Special Katsuya roll features tuna, yellow tail and salmon, artfully wrapped in marinated cucumber.  Their signature starter, Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice, pales in comparison to the buttery Baked Crab Handroll.  The text in the menu that elaborates on the dishes contains cheesy tags more suited for a used car dealership, but this dish lives up to the claim that “one taste will leave you wanting more!”  Adorned with the chef’s secret sauce, topped with rice, and rolled in soy paper, it practically melts when it hits your tongue.  I was curious to see how the chef would fair with ingredients harvested on land, so I ordered the pricey but meagre Kobe Beef with Foie Gras.  katsuya2The beef was overcooked, which is a sin when using such a fine ingredient, but the overall dish was fair.  Oddly enough, the real star here was the plum wine reduction that was drizzled over it, and two blistered shishinto peppers used to garnish.  We order more of these, a la carte – they were quite amazing!  All in all, your check will reflect the ambiance, but if you keep your sights set on the sea, you won’t be disappointed!

Katsuya Hollywood. 6300 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles. ph (323) 871-8777

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