Tag Archives: sushi

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

Katsu-Ya
11680 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
818-985-6976
Website (the original)

Kiwami (also owned by Katsuya Uechi)

Katsuya Uechi also hails from Okinawa! His bio

SBE’s Katsu-Ya

About Sushi

TMZ

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

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Nobu

Nobu LA, MyLastBite.comPeter and I haven’t been to Nobu IN YEARS, but we used to love going to Matsuhisa (also in the Nobu family) on dates when we first met. As a matter of fact, it was in Matsuhisa’s dining room where my sweet husband proposed to me back in 1994.

While reading a recent issue of Bon Appetit magazine, I was pleasantly surprised to read that Nobu (in Los Angeles) was on a list of America’s Top 10 Sushi Spots. 

Bon Ap’s Andrew Knowlton wrote:

“Twenty-two years after he launched a raw-fish revolution with his restaurant Matsuhisa, pioneering chef Nobu returns to America’s capital of sushi and opens another branch of his empire. Expect all the trademarks—Hollywood A-listers, cutting-edge design, and signature dishes, including yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, black cod with miso, and rock shrimp tempura with butter ponzu.”

We had a wonderful evening rediscovering why we fell in love with Nobu’s food (way back when), and also reminisced about those precious date nights too!

Nobu LA, MyLastBite.com
Nobu sign (in front), Shishito Peppers and Edamame.

Nobu LA, MyLastBite.com
Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno.

Nobu LA, MyLastBite.com
The famous Miso Glazed Black Cod with hajikami. (I still LOVE this)

Nobu LA, MyLastBite.com
Rib-eye with crispy onion, Lobster Inaniwa salad with spicy lemon dressing.

Nobu LA, MyLastBite.com
Rock Shrimp Tempura w/ Spicy Aioli and Salmon with Yuzu and Sesame.

Nobu
Website
903 North La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90069

(310) 657-5711

Bon Appetit’s Favorite Sushi Spots

Nobu LA, MyLastBite.com
The ever-present TMZ out front of the restaurant!

Paparazzi at Nobu (identities protected) just like TMZ!
Identities protected (thanks Peter!)

Dining date: 3/19/09

Nobu on Urbanspoon

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Kiwami

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.

Kiwami
11920 Ventura Boulevard,
Studio City, CA  91604
818-763-3910

Dining date: 1/31/09

website

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Fusion Sushi 313

by Jo Stougaard

Stripmall sushi joints. Aren’t they always the best finds? Even the original Studio City Katsu-Ya (my regular haunt) is better than the newer, larger outposts.

Yesterday was my sister Janet’s birthday so we went to her favorite sushi place (in Glendora, CA) called “Fusion Sushi 313”. A tiny little place in yet another dreary looking stripmall. Joining us for dinner was my husband Peter and Janet’s three kids; Chace, Kindal and Cody. Her husband is a firefighter and was working at the station.

Janet ordered her favorite sake, Sayuri (smooth & creamy unfiltered sake). I was thrilled to find they imported Orion beer from Okinawa (where Janet & I grew up before moving to California). Not many Japanese restaurants carry Orion beer, so this to me was definitely a good sign.
Fusion Sushi313 OrionBeer SayuriSake
The restaurant looked pretty boring from the outside, and was tastefully simple on the inside… but when the food came the energy completely changed. It was simply awesome!

My nephew Chace is 12 and is the least adventurous eater in the family. There’s nothing wrong with that. He just likes good old Teriyaki steak, and will only go so far as to eat California rolls. His twin sister Kindal and big brother Cody (19) will try ANYTHING. Kindal happily ordered Crunchy Spicy Tuna & Seared Albacore. Cody was in charge of ordering the “fusion” dishes off the extensive three page menu.

We were all so excited to share the multiple plates of rolls & sashimi, reaching over each other, that one delicious piece was dropped into a glass of water (more on that later).

The Salmon Tataki (salmon sashimi, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fried olives, avocado and garlic chips)… this was incredible… so elegant to look at… something you’d see on an Italian Crudo menu. That was my sister & husband’s favorite dish.

Fusion Sushi 313 Salmon Tataki

Cody and I loved the “Heart Attack”. When Cody suggested it I said “I don’t even care what it is… with a name like that I know I’ll need it!” It was just wicked good! A Jalapeno stuffed with cream cheese, spicy tuna and of course… DEEP FRIED.

Fusion Sushi 313 HeartAttack1

The Dynamite baked seafood dish was terrific too. I don’t think I’ve had it with such FRESH clams before.

Fusion Sushi 313 Dynamite

At the end of our meal, I noticed that the dropped sushi roll was still in Chace’s water glass. The ice had melted so it was a bit cloudy and well…. just really gross! I jokingly said to Chace “Twenty bucks if you drink that sushi water”. He didn’t hesitate for a second and just started sucking down the sushi-infused water! Now, this is the kid that ordered Teriyaki Steak because he isn’t really “into” sushi yet! I was shocked at first… then thrilled and handed over the $20! The next time we go to Fusion Sushi 313, I know he’ll be brave enough to try Uni (sea urchin) and I don’t care if it costs me another $20!

Chace drinks Sushi!

Cubaks Fusion Sushi 313 Fusion Sushi 313 is located at
1758 S Grand Ave
Glendora, CA 91740
(626) 335-4033

Lunch: 11:30am-3:00pm (Mon-Fri)
Dinner: 5:00pm-10:00pm (7days)

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