Saturday, May 23, 2009


For years, Bran and I have had one major goal when dining out at places we know we're going to love. We want recognition. We want fame. Well, not really. We just want to be 'regulars.' You know, sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And they're always glad you came? I can't believe that the first place that it happened was at the one and only Katsu-ya in Studio City.

For example, today we waltzed in and were greeted by warm smiles from every angle; "Irasshaimase (Japanese for please come in)!" they exclaimed. Our greeter asked "sushi bar or table?" Even though he already knew what we were going to say.

My favorite waiter, TK, came over to our table and greeted us, "Welcome back! Two sushi lunch specials, one with udon, one with tempura. I just can't remember what you normally order for drinks."

Party foul. I forgave him.

I said "I'd like an iced tea, please, and he'll have water. We'd also like an order of the crispy rice and spicy tuna today." I like to keep him guessing, you know?

But today, there was something different. I brought my camera to the table with me and unearthed her in the crowded restaurant. I'm sure it's nothing new to the crew from Studio City, mostly people in 'the industry,' anyway, but I felt kind of awkward snapping pictures throughout the meal. My Nikon D80 isn't the most covert camera in all the land.

But I finally got pictures, so I can finally blog on this awesome recession buster. I go to Katsu-ya at least twice a month on Saturdays to take advantage of the sushi lunch special- one piece each of a variety of sushi (tuna, hamachi, white fish, salmon, clam, sh imp, egg), one California roll, miso soup, and your choice of the following: veggie and shrimp tempura, udon soup, salmon skin salad, baked clams, or chicken teriyaki. All of this for just over 10 bucks. And the thing is, Katsuya has consistently been our favorite sushi restaurant around for the past 6 years or so, way prior to our knowing about this awesome recession buster. But one day we popped in for lunch and we found this little gem.

The sushi quality is top notch. The portions are generous. The tempura is light and crispy. The udon is fabulous. The price is right. The service is impeccable. Domo arigato!

One side note: order the crispy rice with spicy tuna. You will thank me.

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