Katsuya at L.A. Live serves up some delicious sushi, but unfortunately, it comes with a side of bad attitude. We have been to Katsuya several times and every time we have encountered bad service. Now when we want sushi we avoid Katsuya, but last Friday night we decided to give the place another try. Well, that was a big mistake.
It was a “Dark Night” at L.A. Live. “Dark Nights” are when there aren’t any events at Staples Center or Nokia, so all the restaurants serve up special Happy Hour style menus to attract locals. When we walked into Katsuya the hostesses told us there was a 20 minute wait to be seated even though half the tables in the restaurant were empty, so we decided to sit at the bar. The bartender put menus in front of us, but never addressed us. How hard is it to say “hi” or something? And what I really find annoying is that he gave us regular menus but did not include the special “Dark Night” menu. A group of younger people sat down next to us and asked for the “Dark Night” menu and he gave it to them but with total disdain, and when they ordered several of the $5 cocktails he could not have been more put out. I asked the woman next to us if I could see the special menu. It had six different food items for $5 each. When the bartender finally addressed us I ordered a White Grapefruit Cosmopolitan ($15) and a Kirin Light ($7). We also ordered three items from the “Dark Night” menu: the Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, California Roll and the Brussel Sprouts with toasted almonds.
The Cosmo was made with Belvedere Pink Grapefruit vodka, Cointreau, freshly squeezed lime juice and white cranberry juice. It was delicious. As usual the food was great too, but the bartender didn’t serve us the “Dark Night” portions. He ordered our food from the main menu. So instead of the $5 portion of Brussel sprouts we received the $10 portion. Instead of the $5 California Roll, we received the $8 roll. It was a shady move by the bartender to beef up our bill, presumably so that his 20% tip would be bigger. If the bartender doesn’t want to serve food off the special menu, the management should give him the night off. And I don’t know if the Katsuya management encourages the employees to be condescending and rude to the customers, but it seems to be a recurring experience.
After Katsuya we headed over to Tom’s Urban and it was the exact opposite experience.