STAR STUDDED FARE ON THE STRIP
There was a lot of buzz back in 2002 when Katana first opened on the Sunset Strip. The space was beautiful and the owners were basking in the success of their three Sushi Rokus. Katana (which means “samurai sword”) was the focal point of the grand Piazza del Sol, a stunning 1920s Mediterranean building on the Strip just down the street from fancy Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian as well as the House of Blues. While those two local landmarks have since closed, Katana is still going strong.
While the successful restaurant group IDG has since opened the very popular BOA, and ROKU, there’s something special about Katana—it’s beautiful outdoor seating area overlooking the Strip is a definite favorite. There aren’t many better spots in town to have a drink, grab a bite and take in the sights on busy Sunset Boulevard. Start your night with a refreshing Matcha Mule with green tea infused Beluga Noble Vodka, ginger, honey and lemon and watch your problems disappear. Likewise, the Kentucky Tea with Wild Turkey Honey Whiskey, and the Sunset Heat with Patron Silver Tequila and fresh watermelon are great starter cocktails.
Speaking of starter items, a menu must-have is the Saikyo Yaki—miso marinated black cod—which was it is out-of-this-world good. It melted in my mouth like butter. I was looking forward to taste the Suzuki—Chilean seabass—an absolute favorite of mine but it was the cod that was the standout without question. The Wagyu—Japanese premium beef—was a solid selection as well. And you can’t go wrong with the lovely Foie Gras / Filet Mignon Wrapped Foie Gras and Asparagus. Need I say more?
Other fan favorites included the Shishito—Japanese peppers with soy garlic; Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice; and sushi from the sushi bar. But another must-have is the Lobster Noodles with a Nova Scotia lobster tail, sesame and garlic. While it may not be as rich as the lobster noodles from nearby ROKU, it is a delicious dish. And there’s no skimping on the lobster so this decadent delight is a hit all the way around.
While I was surprised by the quality of cocktails as I wasn’t expecting much I guess, we made this a sake night as I thought good, crisp, clear sake, especially a nice Junmai Dai Gingo, would complement the seafood heavy meal best. I couldn’t think of a better pairing than sake with the fabulous cod, rich lobster noodles or stellar sushi. By the end of the night it even complimented the hearty 40 Day Dry Aged New York Steak nicely, as well as the glass of red wine I felt compelled to pair with it.
Our meal started before sunset, which was the perfect setting to watch all the action on the Strip, and then really came to life as darkness fell and the city lights illuminated all around. If you can get an outdoor seat at Katana, it really is the way to go.
Katana is located at 8439 Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood. Upscale casual attire is required. Happy Hour is daily from 5:30pm to 7pm. Call 323-650-8585.
Story and some photography by Jose Martinez
Some Photography courtesy Of: Katana