KATSUYA – A Dressed Up NOBU???
In 2011 it was reported that the popular and swanky west coast sushi haven KATSUYA was headed to midtown Manhattan, but as of 2014, the restaurant known for its Philippe Starck designs and celebrity clientele has yet to touch down in New York City. Perhaps it’s because f the big apple is already innundated with a handful of Japanese restaurants with high detailed designs, such as Koi, Blue Ribbon, Nobu Tribeca and Nobu Midtown.
While I have dined at the Hollywood Katsuya location at 6300 Hollywood Boulevard, it wasn’t until my last visit when I realized the menu items at Katsuya are eerily similar to that of Koi and Nobu. There’s yellowtail with jalapeno, shashimi salads, crispy rice with tuna, miso cod, rolls, and wagyu beef, all of which I’ve seen on the the New York, Miami and London menus of Nobu. But the similarity in menu items have not kept Katsuya down. And whether or not it has made its way to New York City, Katsuya obviously has a following and reputation all its own with locations in South Beach, Kuwait, Dubai, Las Vegas, and throughout Los Angeles.
A paparazzi staple due to the high wattage clientele, Katsuya’s Hollywood location offers a fancy, fashionable and luxurious dining experience that many will consider worth the pricey raw fish. There’s tons of celebrity gazing, and the service is swift and cordial. Starck’s unique furnishings, austere designs, sleek finishes and glamorous brilliance make every diner feel like a supermodel, yet in New York these settings are a dime a dozen – ever been to Armani Ristorante?
While I like and appreciate Katsuya for its signature LA beauty, elegance and charm, the concept is a bit overdone, and the fare, albeit delicious, lacks creativity and unique allure. I enjoy my time there, but if I’m craving high end sushi, there’s nothing like the dependable and the original NOBU.