Everybody loves Katsu-ya, but not everybody loves the price. As insiders (primarily people who are lucky enough to work near a Katsu-ya) know, there is an early-bird lunch special with a set menu for the first fifteen people through the door. Since they open at 11:30, that means you should be in line by 11:15 at the latest. Guests waiting in line will receive a “tag” or ticket guaranteeing them the lunch special. Only one ticket per person, first come, first served, for only $9.80. Of course after a drink, tax and tip it’s going to be between $15 and $20, but it’s still an insane deal. The early bird special is also offered at Katsu-ya Izakayas.
The set lunch special, which is offered Monday through Friday, varies every day. On a recent Thursday, they offered teka maki (roll sushi) 8 pieces, and Nigiri Sushi 10 pieces. The crispy fried rice with spicy tuna is definitely the star. I noticed that the maguro was sliced a wee bit thin. In addition to having your fill of nigiri and teka-maki, there was also a mini-udon and a salad. On another day you might get sushi and Grilled Salmon or sashimi and an 8-piece roll plus black cod along with a salad and miso soup. The broth made with their own dashi is great, although Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo makes a killer Miso broth. But that is another deal for another day.
All photos by ChrisO. Elise Thompson contributed to this post.