Tag Archives: kat-suya

Katsu-Ya (so much more than sushi!)

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.

Katsu-Ya's Spicy Tuna Crispy RiceWhat 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.

Katsu-Ya's Jumbo Scallop Foie Gras & Asparagus
Jumbo Scallop, Foie Gras & Asparagus

Toro (tuna) & Inada (baby yellowtail) at Katsu-Ya
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.

Katsu-Ya's Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice
Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice

Katsu-Ya's Creamy Popcorn Shrimp
Creamy Popcorn Shrimp

Katsu-Ya's Shishito Peppers
Shishito Peppers

Katsu-Ya's Salmon Dinner Combo
Brent loved the Broiled Salmon Filet with Shio-yaki sauce, served with mixed tempura

Katsu-Ya's Popular Dishes (on menu)
Katsu-Ya’s Most Popular Dishes

More photos on Flickr

11680 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
Website (the original)

Kiwami (also owned by Katsuya Uechi)

Katsuya Uechi also hails from Okinawa! His bio

SBE’s Katsu-Ya

About Sushi


TRAILER: “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, A Film About Master Sushi Chef Jiro Ono (Anthony Bourdain‘s favorite!) on Eater.



Filed under Eating Out


Katsuya Uechi’s new restaurant is called Kiwami. It’s just a few blocks away from Katsuya (our usual sushi joint on “sushi row”), and it’s also owned by Katsuya Uechi.

For our first visit to Kiwami, my husband Peter and I sat at a table so I could capture photos easier. Well, at least easier than sitting at the intimate sushi bar helmed by Chef Uechi himself! Our charming server, Hugh, explained that Kiwami is more “upscale” then Katsuya restaurant, and this was definitely reflected in the ambiance and decor. I’ve worn flip-flops and shorts to Katsuya, but that would be way too casual for a meal at Kiwami.

We ordered mostly from the “Today’s Specials” menu and loved every bite. Kiwami translated, means “doing something extremely” or “the best degree in Japanese”, and Chef Uechi definitely delivers the kiwami to this soon-to-be super hot sushi spot!

Sayuri Unfiltered Sake at Kiwami, MyLastBite.com
Sayuri, our favorite unfiltered sake.

Kiwami's Blue Fin Tuna, MyLastBite.com
Blue Fin Tuna, flown in from Spain $16

Kiwami's Skip Jack Poki, MyLastBite.com
Skip Jack Poke $9

Kiwami's Yellowtail Jalapeno, MyLastBite.com
Jalapeno Yellowtail $16

Kiwami's Yellowtail Jalapeno, MyLastBite.com

Kiwami's Unagi Shirayaki, MyLastBite.com
Unagi Shirayaki (first steamed, then baked) $10

Kiwami's Trout, MyLastBite.com
Tasmanian Trout in foil, $15

Kiwami's Tempura, MyLastBite.com
Mixed Tempura $16

Kiwami's Baked Roll, MyLastBite.com
Spicy Tuna with Baked Crab Roll $12

Born in Okinawa (like me!), Japan, Chef Katsuya Uechi began his career as a chef at the Harbor View Hotel in Okinawa. He moved to Los Angeles over 20 years ago and opened the Studio City Sushi Katsu-Ya in 1997.

11920 Ventura Boulevard,
Studio City, CA  91604

Dining date: 1/31/09



Filed under Eating Out