While some other Japanese restaurants in Los Angeles are all about show, with conveyor belts, gaudy decor, and over-the-top presentation (cough, cough all included in the price of course!) Katana puts the focus on the food, and does it well while also maintaining a hip and stylish ambience.
Although the focus at Katana is on the sushi, there are many other amazing dishes to be tried here. The food offered at Katana has a nice balance of flavors: not too overpowering, but with a lightness and depth that you really want from Japanese food. While I sometimes prefer the healthier options of sushi, I also enjoy creative dishes with a mixture of flavors. Fancy some chicken heart shish-kabob? How about trying chicken cartilage (It’s chewy and goes great with the mustard dip). You can find it here.
Overlooking Sunset Boulevard, the decor has the feel of an old, well-decorated dungeon yet it’s minimalist enough to avoid looking pretentious. If you feel like staying for a drink after your meal, (and I recommend you do) there is a great lounge bar and outdoor area with great views of the city. The bar stocks a selection of unusual and fruit sakes, and they even make sake cocktails. The view from the windows are great for people watching, and if you are looking for a nice place to chill or have amazing sushi for dinner, Katana is ideal.
Check out the foodie shots below. Don’t you just want to eat the food right off the page? Interview with Hiroshi Shima, executive sushi chef at Katana after the gallery jump:
Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a sushi chef?
A: I was 10 years old and when I went fishing with my dad; how they sliced and ate the days catch while still out on the boat.
Q: Did you go to culinary school or did you learn through hands on?
A: I went to culinary school for one year and then I learned through hands on.
Q: What does it take to become a sushi chef?
A: A Chef must be passionate about food and always curious to learn about new trends.
Q: What are you favorite flavor combinations?
A: Salt and Vinegar.
Q: What is your most indispensible sushi making kitchen utensil?
A: Sharp Knives and Sharp Chopsticks ( metal chopsticks used by sushi chefs) .
Q: How do you keep your staff at Katana inspired?
A: Lead by example, teach them new techniques and praise whenever possible.
Q: What cities do you like for culinary travel?
A: Chicago, and the restaurant L2O for taking Japanese cuisine and adding science to the art of traditional Japanese cooking.
Q: What trends do you see emerging in sushi?
A: Shiny fish, silverfish or in Japanese “Hikari Mono” such as gizzard shad, mackerel, sardine , pike and more.
Q: What is the difference between the sushi here in the US (or Los Angeles in particular) as opposed to Japan?
A: Sushi in Japan is simple and for the most part it’s all about the fish and rice. In the U.S. it is a lot about creativity; using nontraditional ingredients or a combination of ingredients. Using various types of sauce for sushi.
Q: What is your favorite “secret” ingredient?
A: Sea Water called “Ensui” in Japanese to add a mild natural saltiness to my dish.
8439 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069