Location: 11925 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025. (424) 535-3041
Date: September 15, 2017
Cuisine: Omakase Asian
Rating: Really interesting and different
It’s hard to describe Kato. Located in one of the ubiquitous Santa Monica Blvd mini-malls it serves a sort of modern Asian omakase/kaiseki.
Fit in there with the Mexican places, the cheap sushi, the massage joints.
The decor is minimalist but attractive. The crowd is young and predominantly Asian.
There are only 2 choices, $55 and $80 tasting menus. We went for the larger of course which includes beef and the foie gras and an extra dessert.
Cheap, minimalist, but attractive wares.
There is NO LIQUOR LICENSE, not even a 41 (beer/wine) so it’s tea only.
Stuffed shisito peppers. There was something sweet and savory inside. It was delicious actually, with just the right amount of salt.
Hamachi, cucumber, scallion, black squid sauce. Bright flavors, mixture of textures, some crunch. Very interesting — and attractive.
I love to make abstract squid ink art.
Cold Noodle. Apparently vaguely inspired by a Korean dish. Very thin white cold noodles in an almost clear vinegar sugar broth with bits of clam and greens. Bright and light. Quite lovely actually and very different.
Octopus, Doubanjiang. Crispy fried octopus with spicy sauce and some greens.Quite “crispy” and more than a little kick.
Ocean trout, ikura. Very soft, nearly rare ocean trout (aka salmon) with a light ponzu/dashi like sauce and a crispy bit of skin (or was it skin)? Regardless a nice fish dish.
Wagyu beef, ramp, seaweed. The seaweed was crispy fried. There was some ginger-like stuff on the meat. Also tasty and interesting.
Basically a foie / strawberry uncrustable “peanut-butter” sandwich. Delicious and the light fluffy quality of the milk bread balanced nicely with the sweet/rich innards.
Buttermilk & yuzu. Very fresh and light citrus crumble.
Strawberry semifreddo and cream. Absolutely delicious. Great cold texture and intense strawberry flavor on the pink part, nice sweet cream on the rest.
Wasabi, matcha, lime. Interesting. Wasabi ice cream! And it tasted like it. A sort of tangy caramel below. Very different.
Corn & Hojicha. Fluffy bun of corn with corn filling. Tasted like corn bun.
Overall, a very interesting and different meal. Very light, bright flavors and the whole thing tasted great but left one feeling not in the least “bombed out” which is actually kinda nice. Extremely modern too and straight up ready for instagram!
Service was good. I’d like to see them get a liquor license and allow corkage. The manager told us they were working on it but there were zoning issues. I know all about those!