great sushi, mediocre food, great service, great atmosphere, fun saki, rude staff, all usually very good crispy rice
Find spicy tuna on crispy rice, baked crab handrolls and other trademarks available at Katsuya's sushi establishments, plus more small plates and drinks befitting a proper Japanese izakaya house.
good but not as great as I expected.
Full caveat- it might be me BUT I thought Izakaya was just ok. This was my first sushi meal after a 10 month, pregnancy induced hiatus. I have been meaning to try Izakaya ever since I moved back to LA two years ago.
I love sushi; As I my years of sushi eating has evolved, I have become a bigger fan of the simple, traditional sushi and sashimi. I look for quality fish that simply melts in your mouth, accompanied by simple complementary sauces, tastes that evoke the natural flavor of the fish. I look for fresh glory, teasing flavors that evolve with every chew. This sounds poetic, yes, but I have had meals like this at places like the Hump (pre-whale incident) in the past.
Izakaya does sushi the way americans have grown to love it- all spiced and fancied up in complex rolls. These rolls are in some cases great (baked crab hand roll and spicy tuna on crispy rice).
Net net, fun dinner with friends, good rolls, lacking the simple glory.
Hold on to your plate!.
The food was delicious but the service left a lot to be desired. We felt rushed, terribly rushed. At one point, we literally had to retrieve a plate which still had food on it - unbelievable.
Our table was cleared while we were still chewing and swallowing our food. It happened on two occasions so I"m not sure I will go again. Not exactly a relaxing experience with the staff hovering over your head anxious to yank your plate away.
Sure the crowd is loud and scene-y, and things get packed at this Katsu-Ya 3rd Street fave super quickly, but the sushi is fresh, packed with melt-in-your-mouth awesomeness and definitely worth a visit. I went last month for a friend's birthday dinner, and we scarfed down many servings of the creamy rock shrimp tempura & seared albacore with crispy onion.
The verdict? It was all tasty enough to make up for the ridonkulous trust fund baby pouts on too many aspiring model / actor faces and the 40 minute wait.
Food Borne Illness, need I say More?.
First off, I am a self proclaimed sushi snob, I grew up in LA eating sushi since I was 3 at Teru Sushi on Ventura, and have since searched out the best of the best in LA.
This place is a category all on it's own. I would recommend Sushi Mac down the street before I recommend this place. If you like sceney restaurants that are overcrowded with loud vapid 20 somethings texting during dinner about what club to go to next, then this place is for you. Obviously food is less important than the scene to that crowd. If you are here because some cool 20 something told you it has good sushi and you thought they knew what they were talking about, then you deserve what you get. There are so many things wrong with this place I can't even begin. The staff is rude and unknowledgeable, and seem to be completely overwhelmed at how busy this place gets. It's like full of first time waiters/waitresses that can't handle the flow and don't understand how to seat people (really, 2 people at a 4 top when you have a party of 4 waiting?) Makes no sense at all, especially when there is no place to stand or sit out of the way! The food is mediocre at best, nothing new, nothing ingenius, and nothing I haven't had before someplace else but better. The only thing of note is the Almond Scallops, which is exactly what I think gave me and my husband food poisoning. There was one that tasted off that we split and lo and behold, the pain and tirade of stomach issues began the next day! Needless to say I do not think the fish is fresh, nor do I think it is handled properly due to the overwhelming crowds that seem to come in here.
If you really want to try some good, fresh, amazingly prepared sushi, drive a block north and go to Hirozen, best place in LA by far. Valley Side try Asanebo or the original Katsu-YA ( which is not as good as it used to be, but still up there)
And for the record, I used to be a 20 something not too long ago, and still would have found this place abysmal.
good luck and happy sushi searching!
Katsua food for Less. Very friendly, professional staff...from Japan.. This place is very popular. If you don't want to wait, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE RESERVATION! Or Don?t complain about the wait..its your fault for not making the reservation. The place being popular and being over crowded is not their fault..think this way, that means they sell their fish from right to left, and you?re getting freshest fish cut on your sushi! Front desk is fine, in my opinion, its just that the restaurant is very popular and that?s why the wait is long..the girl at the front knows what she?s doing very well, but when there is a substitute (sometimes, they have one of the server work at the front) then, maybe it?s a different story. Food is much less expensive than "Katsuya" in Brentwood or Hollywood, but its the same or, better. I 've seen servers and chefs who work at Brentwood Katsu-ya dine here on their day off ;-) Btw, they charge for spicy mayonnaise, and extra sauces, like chili sauce, or eel sauce...one thing I dislike about this restaurant...even though, I don't use them at all...I don't think these sauce compliments sushi at all! Get to know the servers, the front girl and the manager?they?re all from Japan, they?re very nice and full of hospitality.
terrible service, good to ok food.... a few of my friends love this place, so i have been here a handful of occasions--only to be disappointed each time. first of all, the front desk is a nightmare it's so unorganized. 20 minutes is usually more like 45 minutes or longer, so be prepared. the service varies from ok to horrible. some examples: on one occasion i ordered some shishito peppers that took about 45 minutes (and 4 inquiries to various staff members) to arrive, but after were were finished eating everything else; we've been served warm beer, but have been unable to find anyone to get a cold one; have ordered mochi ice cream, only to wait 15 minutes and have a check dropped--without receiving our dessert; forget about having your water refilled. the food also ranges from very good to terrible. the baked salmon was so overcooked that we couldn't even cut it-- dried out and salty. learning our lesson, on a later visit we ordered it med. rare--but it was still dried out and way too salty. sometimes the creamy rock shrimp tempura is delicious, but more than once it's been drowning in too much spicy mayo. the seared tuna with japanese salsa is one of my favorite things from the other katsuyas, but here the tuna sits in too much ponzu for too long and so all you taste is tuna drenched in ponzu sauce. the crispy rice, crab rolls and other staples are all usually very good, though. now some people say that izakaya is a cheaper version of katsuya brentwood or hollywood, but what you have to keep in mind is that many of the items (such as the yellowtail with jalapeno) are actually about 1/3 smaller, so really, you end up spending about the same amount of money. some of the other dishes (especially the rolls) are a few dollars cheaper, but i don't think they're as high a quality--i don't think the food is as well executed at izakaya and frankly, i'm willing to pay more just for better service...i'd recommend staying at katsuya in brentwood if you want good food AND good service.
Service needs improvement. I was so excited to see that there was casual version of Katsuya, but the service was a huge let down. Granted, we did not have a reservation. When we arrived we were told the wait would be 25 minutes, it ended up being over an hour. Groups with reservations were waiting over 15 minutes for their tables. It seems this location may be a bit small for big groups and probably should seat on a first come-first serve basis. The seating system here just does not work. Their is minimal space to enjoy a cocktail while waiting and the front desk staff was not pleasant at all. When we finally were seated our waitress was sweet when we could find her. The food of course was incredible. My group enjoyed every dish we ordered. Our beers were warm, but we let it go: by that point we just wanted to eat and go home to bed.
AWESOME!!!. so good so great so good!!!! the best sushi i have EVER had. the staff is helpful and attentive, the decor is simple yet hip, the crowd is cool and the food is divine. i even recommend the saki in bamboo-hokey and silly, but fun and delicious. i cannot wait to go back.
Great sushi, great atmosphere, good prices. Izaka-ya as well as the Katsu-ya in Encino/Studio CIty as well as Katsuya in Hollywood/Brentwood all live up to quality sushi, with a great atmosphere. Izaka-ya, the newest of them serves up similar dishes to that of Katsu-ya, but with the celebrity atmosphere. The chefs are great, as well as the fish. Prices are very good as well. Sushi has always been fresh, and comparing to other joints, I have to yet find a place that literally offers melt in your mouth Toro!! I had the chef make me his own Halibut, and boy oh boy must I say I was impressed. the red snapper is excellent, the spicy tuna rolls are 8 pieces, and to top it off, they offer fresh Wasabi for only a $1.50 which is a plus compared to places like Sushi Go-55 which costs $6 (though its freshly grated in front of you). if i'm looking for great sushi thats quick and cheap I would go to Hide. For great sushi, with a great atmosphere, go to Izaka-ya. Although I'm not in the celebrity 'sightings' I have seen celebrities here. Parking is a major hassle, as well as the wait sometimes is over 15 minutes for the bar.
BEST sushi in Los Angeles. This is not opinion, it is fact. I have eaten sushi at just about everywhere that serves it. Katsuya used to be open only in the valley. I would drive from Beverly Hills to it everyday just to eat there...then this place opened. Without a doubt, the BEST sushi in Los Angeles. You have to try it for yourself but believe me you will end up being one of those ppl who form a line 30 mins before they open just to get your fix
If you want great sushi and Japanese-style tapas, but don't care about beautiful decor or great service, then Izaka-ya by Katsuya on Third is a must-try.
The food is the same as his upscale SBE restaurants, but at a fraction of the price. It's still more expensive than your neighborhood sushi bar, but the quality is probably better and the variety definitely is.
They have their own signature items here that you won't typically find at your neighborhood sushi bar, either.
The portions tend to be on the smaller side. No "snow cone" hand rolls here.
While it's not sushi, the Kobe burger is excellent - the meat absolutely melts in your mouth.
Service is just OK, it doesn't seem like the wait staff really care that much, and if you don't order half the menu, they kind of treat you like "that's ALL you're having?"
I must say, this is possibly the worst-decorated restaurant I have ever been to, especially considering how busy the restaurant is. Street parking is impossible, so you definitely have to valet.
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