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Katsuya or Geisha House?

holly798g Feb 14, 2008 09:01 AM

We want to go to a 'trendy' sushi restaurant, which would you all prefer, Katsuya or Geisha House??

From the pictures Katsuya looks all brightly lit--is that how it really is? Or is it more dim at night?

And one more question, what is the dress like at Katsuya? Is it casual or are most girls in dresses?

Thanks for the help :)

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    namstermonster RE: holly798g Feb 14, 2008 09:57 AM

    geisha house is better between the two, altho the food pretty much sucks for both. katsuya in encino/studio city (the original) has better food but no atmosphere, of course. geisha house is dimly lit, looks loungy and def feels like a "night out" whereas katsuya is trendy but like you saw in the pics it is brightly lit. beware if u go to katsuya- i ran out from the bathrooms screaming (scary-as-hell-mirrors). if u're looking for "trendy" and not necessarily good food, how bout koi or katana??

    4 Replies
    1. re: namstermonster
      fdb RE: namstermonster Feb 14, 2008 07:47 PM

      DO NOT LOOK STRAIGHT INTO THE BATHROOM MIRROR AT KATSUYA!!!!! I didn't think the food was that bad, but I would never go into the bathroom by myself again.

      1. re: fdb
        slacker RE: fdb Feb 15, 2008 12:07 PM

        I've never felt a need to go to Katsuya before, but now I am overwhelmingly curious about the bathroom mirror.

        1. re: slacker
          fdb RE: slacker Feb 15, 2008 02:54 PM

          It's the ladie's room....don't know about men's.

          1. re: fdb
            slacker RE: fdb Feb 18, 2008 11:38 AM

            I'm not a guy. :)

    2. e
      ExtraCheesePlease RE: holly798g Feb 14, 2008 10:48 AM

      Both are very trendy although Kat-suya Hollywood is the scene right now. Be prepared to spend a lot of money and get a lot of attitude in return. The food at both places are very Japanese fusion but the sushi is fresh and good. Since it's LA, jeans and a nice shirt (and maybe jacket) is fine for the men and same for the women but since it's trendy, dresses and/or cute tops should do the trick. Go to either place at least once just for the experience. For my money, Ike Sushi on Gower is the best sushi in Hollywood.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ExtraCheesePlease
        westsidegal RE: ExtraCheesePlease Feb 18, 2009 11:49 AM

        i've only been to geisha house, but i must respectfully disagree with ExtraCheesePlease's assessment that the sushi is "fresh and good."
        the sushi is almost passable at best. this is not a place to go for food.

      2. mollyomormon RE: holly798g Feb 14, 2008 11:07 AM

        I would say Katsuya (I'm assuming you mean the new Hollywood location) is much trendier than Geisha House. It's been a few years since Geisha House was a hot spot. Since the only reason to really go to Geisha House was the scene, it definitely wouldn't be my choice now.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mollyomormon
          SauceSupreme RE: mollyomormon Feb 14, 2008 11:37 AM

          One advantage of Katsuya on Hollywood and Vine is that you could also check out the adjoining S Bar, with its Philippe Starck interior and some interesting cocktails.

        2. ronnie_gaucho RE: holly798g Feb 14, 2008 11:44 AM

          Can we get a third option?

          Maybe somewhere with good sushi?

          3 Replies
          1. re: ronnie_gaucho
            Emme RE: ronnie_gaucho Feb 14, 2008 07:24 PM

            Trendy plus better sushi would be Katana for me.

            1. re: Emme
              QualityMart RE: Emme Feb 14, 2008 11:55 PM

              I haven't been to Katsuya, but if Katana has better sushi ... then WOW, katsuya must really be bad.

              1. re: QualityMart
                Emme RE: QualityMart Feb 15, 2008 12:18 AM

                i've just never been wowed by katsuya, just a personal opinion. katana to me embodies the trendy (which hollywood katsuya has i know), but i've found to be more consistent in terms of combining trendy w/ japanes/sushi. if i were recommending for a traditional sushi dinner, i would do so very differently.

          2. schmamo RE: holly798g Feb 14, 2008 01:30 PM

            At least with Katsuya you chance getting good sushi. The vibe at Geisha is cool, but the food has always failed to impress me.

            1. h
              HollywoodLocal RE: holly798g Feb 14, 2008 05:25 PM

              Katsuya. Next question :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: HollywoodLocal
                TailbackU RE: HollywoodLocal Feb 14, 2008 09:45 PM


              2. d
                doublevision03 RE: holly798g Feb 15, 2008 07:17 AM

                I've never been to Katsuya but Geisha House is a favorite of mine. They have amazing cocktails (try the Geisha Kiss) and the food really isn't that expensive. On New Year's Eve, I spent less than $20. Their yaki-onigiri (grilled rice ball, but their version is a rectangle-shaped on a stick) and rock shrimp tempura are really good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: doublevision03
                  DanaB RE: doublevision03 Feb 15, 2008 03:00 PM

                  Given that the specialty cocktails at Geisha House are around $14 per pop, I would venture a guess that your experience of getting out of there for less than $20 is not the norm.

                  Personally, I think Katsuya has better food than Geisha House. Geisha House was fun when it was the "it" spot, but today I would recommend Katsuya over GH.

                2. ellaystingray RE: holly798g Feb 15, 2008 09:46 AM

                  Sometimes I like trendy too.

                  I have been to the Katsuya in Brentwood a few times but not the others. As a broad generalization, the Westside doesn't usually have quite the same level of snootiness as Hollywood/WeHo hot spots. This is also comparitive, not absolute. For instance the valet is a mere $8 dollars in Brentwood.

                  The last time I went the traffic in Brentwood was absolutly locked down for about 3 miles around the restaurant and everyone was showing up between 20 and 40 minutes late for their reservations--a restaurant nightmare--at the beginning of service. My party finally got there at 6:40 for 6:00 reservations. We got nothing but understanding from both the hostess stand (both in person and on the phone as we called repeatedly agonizing over the traffic) and our server while they had to be freaking out inside knowing their 8:30 and on rezzies, when the traffic was gone and people started showing up on time, were going to be screwed. Not sure what happened later in the evening but we were treated exceptionally given the circumstances.

                  Now, about the food. Is this in my list of top sushi places--naw. But I haven't had anything bad and some items have been great. Is it the best value, not at all, but it isn't trying to be that place. They serve a lot more than just sushi and I've found the items from the robata bar to also be very good. And the trendy meter....well that is pinned all the way to the right.

                  So if you are only going for fish you might be able to find more chinks in their armor than I have but if you want to explore the rest of the menu mixing hot and cold dishes from the different kitchens I think the Brentwood location is a good choice. It sounds like you have made a conscious decision to incorporate trendy into the equation and if you do that ahead of time, you are much more likley to have a good time. If you go thinking, am I getting the best value in town for my money, you'll be miserable. Again, that's not what they do.

                  As far as dress, you'll find everything from slinky dresses with spikey heels to jeans and a sweater. Since you are going becuase it is trendy, I would suggest dressing up a little as that just seems to make it a little more fun. And if you really bring your a-game, you'll probably get a few of the looky-loos checking you out trying to determine if they should know who you are. Also, the day of the week and time you go have a direct relationship to how people are dressed. 9:30 Saturday--it's fully fab-u-rific. Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.--not so much.

                  And you asked about lighting. Well, it is pretty well lit. I wouldn't call it bright but, in the days of places so dark those with perfect eye-sight can barely read the menu, it is on the better lit end of the spectrum. I think that is in part to highlight the Phillipe Stark interior and facilitate people watching. And if you are a design person, check out how many different kinds of chairs there are!

                  1. a
                    AquaW RE: holly798g Feb 15, 2008 09:52 AM

                    Personally a hard call - neither places are where I'd go for good food alone, but both are decent choices for passable-albeit-overpriced food, fusion-y cocktails, and a hipster vibe with the possibility of catching some B-listers. I think Katsuya slightly edges GH because it's newer, but the latter has been consistently buzzy since its inception (is it Dolce Group owners' shameless promotions and or their shame-ful antics? you decide).

                    My Geisha House foodventure from late '06: http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com/2006...

                    1. b
                      buhbuhlicious RE: holly798g Feb 16, 2009 10:00 PM

                      i've never been to katsuya but am planning on going to their hollywood location this weekend. i don't really think there is a dress code but it's always more fun to dress up!

                      geisha house is definitely a trendy place...however, i wasn't too impressed by their food. they are not too creative with their menu and their quality was just alright.

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