The original Katsu-Ya restaurant in Studio City is an old favorite of mine. So much in fact, that when the “other”, flashier (SBE-funded) Katsu-Ya’s opened up around town, I refused to “cheat” on “my” Katsu-Ya.
What I love most about the original location (besides the food) is that it is so very unglamorous. The restaurant is next to a pet store in a crowded strip mall on Ventura Boulevard, just a few blocks from my house.
I’m a fan (I admit!) of TMZ (nightly on Fox) and from what I’ve seen on the show, the Hollywood Katsu-Ya outpost is more about the celebrity “scene”. I’m sure you can get a great meal at any of the seven “sexier” SBE locations, but I’d rather NOT have to walk through a paparazzi crush after dinner if I can help it.
There aren’t many photos of sushi on my blog. This is mainly because I personally find it rude to take photographs while sitting at a cramped sushi bar. It breaks up the intimacy of the chef/eater experience, plus I don’t want to intrude on the other diners nearby. Sometimes if the sushi bar isn’t full, I ask the chef permission to photograph the meal, but those are very rare occasions.
Recently Peter and I took our friend Brent to Katsu-Ya for an early dinner. Brent isn’t a huge fan of raw fish (I’m working on him!), so we sat at a corner table, where I felt comfortable taking photographs. If you’ve never been, or are new to eating sushi (or Japanese food for that matter), Katsu-Ya’s menu is very well organized for both sushi lover and novice. Even if you don’t eat sushi at all, there are plenty of tasty options to share.
Toro (tuna) & Inada (baby yellowtail).
A sushi-eating tip: If you sit at a sushi bar, do NOT immediately mix the wasabi paste into the soy sauce. The chef will season each piece before giving to you. He/She may just hold back the best pieces for guests that do not drown each piece in the “muddy” water.
11680 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
Website (the original)
Kiwami (also owned by Katsuya Uechi)
Katsuya Uechi also hails from Okinawa! His bio