L.A. Local, Restaurants
Apr 7, 2023

Dinner Diaries: Katana Robata

Katana Robata has been a staple of the iconic Sunset Strip in West Hollywood for many years now, and it’s a dining staple you absolutely have to visit.

Katana boasts a gorgeous interior but also a beautiful patio that is the perfect place to sip on cocktails and enjoy an appetizer all while taking in a stunning sunset. Katana is the type of restaurant that serves delicious Japanese fare, known for their Japanese grilled meats (Robata), while also exuding a distinctively energetic, exclusive and stylish atmosphere.

If you want a more laid back experience you can skip the patio and the lush dining room opting instead, to sit at the sushi or robata bars, crafted from a massive 400-year-old fallen redwood. Speaking of robata (the specialty of the house), they use binchotan wood charcoal that’s imported from the Wakayama province to give skewers, such as chicken, rockfish or miso-marinated shrimp, a distinctive smoky flavor.

The menu at Katana is very comprehensive which is what makes their offering of an “izakaya feast” and an omakase fantastic. Omakase lets the chef do the thinking instead and brings you highlights and seasonal specials.

We kicked off our meal with our personal favorite, Katana’s Hanabi which is spicy tuna on crispy rice. The texture and flavor is beyond. We can never go and not ask for it. Top 10 appetizer favorites and they nail this dish every time. Some places can deliver a bit of a sub-par crispy rice but Katana has never, ever let us down on the delivery of this beloved dish.

KATANA “IZAKAYA” – SPECIALS FROM THE ROBATA GRILL – $80 per person (min. 2) / $120 premium

For this adventure at Katana we decided to try something new and let the chef delight us with his food choices for the evening. We went with the “Izakaya” premium for dinner. And this was our feast.

Kicking off the experience is this lovely and finely sliced sashimi. This is Katana’s Yellowtail Serrano, which is served with garlic ponzu and serrano peppers. It was a melt in your mouth experience and the serrano peppers really bring another level of taste to the yellowtail. The combination really elevates the entire experience.

The next course was Katana’s sashimi selection. This portion of the Izakaya experience is served on ice to retain the fish’s optimum chilled temperature allowing for the best flavors to burst forth. Instead of a large helping of their sashimi selection you enjoy a variety that is pared down to fill but not over satisfy you which leaves you plenty of room to enjoy the other dishes.

The Sashimi was then followed up with Katana’s Robata selection. We’d never tried this before and it was a hit beyond hits. It’s almost hard to put into words the delicate smoked flavor that the robata enhances the flavor of the meats with. The selection consisted of their Tsukune (chicken meatballs), their Wagyu (Japanese beef), sake (salmon), and their Ebi Bacon (jumbo shrimp wrapped with bacon in a chili garlic sauce). The Robata selection comes with a trip of sauces that range from tangy to spicy spice!

Now we arrive at the star of the Izakaya, the sushi. A perfect mixture of hand roll, rolls, and sushi this was by far our favorite selections from the chef. Each fish was so fresh and tender it felt as if the chef had nabbed them straight out of the ocean and onto our table. A MUST. You don’t even need soy sauce for these as the texture and flavors really do speak for themselves. But, we’ll await your replies below when you run out to grab this incredible meal. Let us know your thoughts and which version of the Izakaya you decided to go with. Feast yer eyes on these beauties: The color! The style! The range! It was the chef’s kiss of our first Izakaya experience at Katana Robata.

Finally as we were readying to leave it came as a surprise to find out the chef/management had prepared a lovely dessert as a thank you for popping in and it was both fun and delicious. Always get the chocolate, always!