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Katsu-ya Hollywood

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Mr. Cookie Oct 29, 2007 01:18 PM

Tried this new restaurant with Mrs. Cookie on Friday. Basically it seems to be more of a "scene-and-be-seen" place. Noisy and busy -- and our service was so fast it was a little off-putting. Still, that beats sitting around waiting for a waiter or waitress to show up.

Grilled shishito peppers for an appetizer were quite good -- nice smoky flavor but not over-grilled, still had some crunch (and a few had some spice!) to them.

After that we went with a couple of the waitress's suggestions, including the spicy tuna with crispy rice and the seared albacore with crispy onions. The former just missed -- it was mushy and not that flavorful. The seared albacore was better, although the finely chopped onions weren't exactly crisp.

Toro sushi and yellowtail sushi with jalapeno were actually OK. However, it was weird when we ordered the toro -- the waitress asked us if we wanted the "special" toro or just the plain old toro. We went with the plain old toro and were pleasantly surprised to find it meltingly tender, if not as fatty as really good toro.

We also got scallops with a fried almond crust. The thin slices of almonds that made up the crust encased the scallops on all sides, and totally overwhelmed them in terms of flavor, but this dish still provided kind of an interesting contrast between the crunchy almonds and the soft, tender scallop inside.

After that we ordered an eggplant and tuna dish that was another miss. The eggplant was hollowed out with the center part cut into chunks and cooked, and the final product wrapped with the cooked eggplant "shell," including the skin. The eggplant was perfectly cooked but the tuna bits were way overcooked and added no flavor to the dish at all.

Overall, too many of the dishes we were served were goopy, and many were dressed up with hot spice of some sort. The result was that none of the fresh fish flavors were allowed to come through.

We were in and out in 75 minutes. Valet parking was $10 -- ouch. Won't hurry back.

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    smartcooki RE: Mr. Cookie Oct 29, 2007 06:52 PM

    I recently visited the Studio City location and didn't understand the hype. The actual sushi was pretty good (i.e. straight fish like albacore, yellowtail, salmon etc), but all the rolls were horrible with way too much rice. Didn't try the other specialties, so maybe that's the draw....Oh yeah, maybe it was the two z-list celebrities, a girl from Top Model who didn't win and James Van Derbeek from Dawson's Creek.

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