Monday, February 14, 2011

Romantic Robata

If I get to choose the restaurant, I almost always go for Italian. For Valentine's Day, I wanted to treat my lovely boyfriend Quinn to dinner, and to choose something more his taste. Katana, a hipper-than-hip Japanese restaurant, bar and lounge on the Sunset Strip. Serving Robata, Japanese comfort food grilled and served on skewers, as well as a plethora of sushi, Katana is a pricey spot for the young and beautiful. And they know it. Blasting euro-trance-techno-trash and filled with leggy, surgically enhanced women and the men that love them, Katana is worthwhile despite its ambiance. Its redeeming quality? The food, of course.
Amidst the railroad spikes lining the walls and space-age architecture lies a sushi bar and a collection of room: The Sunset Room, a private dining room and an outdoor heated patio overlooking the Strip... not too shabby. We were warned by our gracious waiter that the dishes were small, so we took the chance to order as many dishes as we could. 

My first choice was the filet mignon foie gras wrapped around asparagus, suggested by our waiter as possibly the best dish they make. Tender delicious meat and the crunch of asparagus made for a tasty bite... I wanted more! Quinn ordered the American kobe beef in a black pepper sauce, by far one of the best dishes of the night. Our neighbors (seated almost too close for comfort next to our table) took one look and ordered one for themselves. A simply arrangement of garlic and black pepper, the thin, seared beef slices were out of this world.

Next, we sampled some of the sushi, a slinky tuna (maguro) and tuna over spicy tuna and shrimp tempura roll that turned me from a sushi non-believer into a rabid fan. Dipped in the ponzo sauce, those rolls were sheer delight. Dreams of white rice rolls danced amongst my subconscious all weekend, so expect another tryst with sushi later this week.

Lastly, we ordered the aged rib eye, pork chop, lobster with tarragon miso, and shrimp with tarragon butter. The aged rib eye was delicious but nothing extraordinary like the others, and the shrimp and lobster were both smothered in creamy tarragon. I realized, after my epic lobster fail at Enterprise Fish Company, that even when lobster is prepared correctly, I'm not the hugest fan. The sauce was fantastic, but the consistency of the crustacean turns me off. 

Quinn's pork chop was, if not the tastiest dish, then definitely the most interesting. Served on its long bone atop mashed potatoes with a spicy ponzo sauce, the Asian twist on an American classic was absolutely superb. I accompanied my meal with 2 fruit infusion cocktails: Skyy Vodka soaked in fruit and juices for days until the drink tastes deceptively alcohol-free. Delicious and worth the $12 for how much vodka is hidden in there. 

Over all, Katana's food is absolutely scrumptious, but expensive. I spent about $150 including gratuity, and though it was worth it, the ambiance leaves something to be desired. If I wanted to hang out with the rich and famous and listen to obnoxiously bad music, I would hit up the strip more often. Don't make our mistake and show up late for your reservation, perhaps being seated in the booth we were originally supposed to occupy might have helped the environment. 

Perfect for a date night or celebration, Katana's Japanese comfort food is not to be missed!

Katana Robata
8439 West Sunset Blvd 
West Hollywood, CA 90069


Siena said...

The guy who was director of Catskills after Joana, his girlfriend worked there. Looks amazing! And I totally agree with you about sushi--it took until I had really great sushi to understand what all the hype was about. If you want another fancy sushi meal in the future, I recommend Kiwami in the valley. It's owned by the same guy who does Katsu-ya, and I imagine any of his restaurants would be phenomenal. Also expensive though, but perhaps not as much as Katana. But seriously, I ate the best sushi I've ever had at Kiwami.

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