As in THE Katsu-Ya — before Sammy Boy bought the franchising rights, there was (and still is) this mom and pop joint nestled in the corner of a strip center next to Domino’s and a pet store off of Ventura in Studio City. I’ve been coming here since college, so it’s probably not a coincidence my girlfriend from college suggested we eat here.
Tourists seek out the SBE Cheesecake Factory version in Hollywood, Brentwood, and Downtown, but locals know the original spot with the glaring lights and sweatpant-clad clientele is the place to be. That’s why they wait 45 minutes for a table without a sigh or moan.
The food is phenominal. Sashmi yourself to death, but don’t forget about the spicy tuna with crispy rice or baked crab roll. Feel free to order at will. You can afford it. And what about sake with your sushi? The cheapest cold sake ($5/bottle) happens to be the best.
Don’t trust me? Ask the paparazzi, they’ll tell you all the celebs venture to the valley for their fresh fish. Tonight, I dined amongst Miley Cirus (who looks exactly the same in person) and Randy from American Idol.
As for the new Katsu-Ya’s spread about Los Angeles. If you can deal with cheese factor of the decor and the drunken party girls bopping about, the food is delicious (although not even close to authentic).