Japanese fare served in high style at Katsuya by Starck in San Diego

Story and Photos By Kelley Carlson

To attract foodies and casual diners alike, Katsuya’s San Diego location recently scaled down the size of its menu — described as “Japanese fare catered to the American palate, but with a unique concentration on San Diego tastes” — along with some of the price points and made subtle alterations to the decor.

Chirashi Sushi is thin slices of fish over rice with ginger and sesame.

“We are beyond excited to introduce our new menu, which pairs Katsuya’s sophistication with the fun-loving community of San Diego,” Assistant General Manager Pouria Malihi said in a news release. “We want customers to feel like they can dine at Katsuya in flip-flops after a ball game or in heels and cocktail attire before a night out downtown.”

Located in a 6,000-square-foot space that’s part of the Andaz Hotel, the restaurant is upbeat and chic, yet casual.

Decorated by renowned designer Philippe Starck, the rooms have bold, contrasting colors, but they’re softened by the glow of candles, large Japanese lanterns and illuminated geisha images. The establishment is further enhanced by small details, such as pink and silver Maneki Neko cats.

Social hour is observed in the lounge, where guests can get comfortable on loveseats or make a new acquaintance at the bar. Mirrored columns boast flat-screen TVs that broadcast athletic events. Another place for interaction is the sushi bar, where patrons can witness chefs preparing rolls of rice with vegetables and raw seafood. “You get the energy of the kitchen,” Sous Chef Jason Velasquez said.

Seating for dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. For special occasions, there is a semi-private mezzanine with ornate mirrors on patterned red walls, shielded from inquisitive eyes by white, flowing curtains; and a private atrium with an open skylight that permits a peek into the heart of the Andaz.

To ease into the dining experience, some guests sip on the new “Local Libation Cocktails” such as 6th & F, a brilliant red beverage with Akvinta Vodka, muddled lychees and raspberries, pineapple juice, squeezed lemon and a splash of St. Germain. Or they may opt for one of the many wines and beers, including Japanese Sapporo and Stone Brewing Co. selections.

Crispy Soft-Shelled Crab with tartar sauce and chili ponzu

There are also premiere sakes; the Sasaichi brewery created one especially for the restaurant titled Katsuya Sake-Victory, which incorporates water from Mount Fuji. All of the Katsuya locations (six in the United States, and another planned in Dubai) share the same base menu, a showcase of Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi’s style.
For example, there’s Sauteéd Shishito Peppers (an average of one in 10 are spicy!) and a Crispy Soft-Shelled Crab that can be dipped in tartar sauce and chili ponzu. And there’s Robata, in which skewers of vegetables, meats or seafood are grilled over special Japanese charcoal.

Yet there are a handful of selections that are exclusive to the San Diego site. One is the Double Double Roll that has a bit of zing, with rice, spicy yellowtail, spicy kanikama and cucumber rolled together and topped with more yellowtail, onion ponzu and Serrano chili. Another is the Chirashi Sushi — thin slices of fish over rice with ginger and sesame.

A favorite of the chefs are the new sliders, which come in four varieties: Teriyaki Portobello, Wagyu, Spicy Pork Belly and Shrimp Gratin Croquette.

Possibly the most popular “newcomer” is the BOP, in which servers bring sizzling rice hot pots to the diner’s table and then mix in sweet-soy BOP sauce with Japanese mushroom, braised short rib or pork bulgogi. An additional dish to be noted is the tender and juicy 6-ounce Wagyu Ribeye, served over maitake mushrooms with truffle butter.

For dessert, there are sweet treats such as mini crème brûlées; mochi, a confection made from pounded sticky rice and filled with ice cream in flavors such as mango and strawberry; and the Caramel Apple — warm Fuji apples and rum raisins in a phyllo dough basket, topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

In the near future, diners will be able to select an Omakase menu, in which courses will be specially tailored to their desires.

Seating for dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. in the dining room.

Katsuya by Starck
Address: 600 F Street, San Diego

Phone: (619) 814-2000

Web: sbe.com/katsuya
The Vibe: Chic, upbeat, relaxed
Signature Dishes: Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, Special Katsuya Roll
Open Since: 2012
Reservations: Yes
Patio Seating: Yes
Takeout: Yes
Social Hour: 4-7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close Monday through Saturday; 4 p.m. to close Sunday

Hours: 4 p.m. to close daily

On The Menu Recipe

Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online at lajollalight.com. Just click Get The Recipe at the bottom of the story.

This week: Katsuya’s Shishito Peppers

Related posts:

  1. Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza satisfies with a menu loaded with variety
  2. Sharing’s in the spotlight at The Promiscuous Fork in La Jolla
  3. Rocky’s: A bar with burgers and brews to boast about
  4. Roy Yamaguchi’s Pacific Rim Cuisine in La Jolla reinvents its fusion fare
  5. Smart prices and products behind new dining concept at Urban Plates in Carmel Valley

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=110590

Posted by Staff on Jul 23, 2013. Filed under Food, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team tops in division at 2014 Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    The Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team took first place in the 2014 Albion Cup (Girls U9 Cup) on July 18-21. They beat Carlsbad United’s top GU9 team in the semi-finals and went on to shut out Strikers FC in the finals, 4-0. Awesome tournament play by the entire team! […]
  • Surf Academy Select BU9 win it all at Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    San Diego Surf Academy Select BU9 won it all at the Albion Cup July 19-21! After winning their Showcase division by going unbeaten all weekend, they defeated Legends FC 4-1 in the finals on Monday. This is the second year in a row this team has won the Albion Cup. […]
  • Pushing boundaries July 24, 2014
    Few issues cause parents more distress than changes in school boundaries. Who can forget the tumult when in 2002 the Del Mar Union School District moved hundreds of families from one attendance area to another? Resentment still lingers, 12 years later. The San Dieguito Union High School District created its system of boundaries nearly 18 years ago that has w […]