so despite the inevitable crowds at the still-new americana at brand in glendale, we decided to meet up with my brother and his girlfriend o there for dinner at katsuya. they'd been to the hollywood branch and raved about it, so we thought it was great that they opened a new one, located roughly halfway between us.
i was able to take pitifully few pictures, but better some than none, right? anyway, we somehow managed to find each other through the hordes of slack-jawed, blank-staring shoppers and headed to the restaurant. at check-in, the hostess eyed our stroller and said "the dining room is upstairs, and our elevator isn't working."
um, hello. as my brother and i whispered to each other, that's fucking illegal as all hell! what if our group included someone in a wheelchair, for the love of tuna? oy. so we started to unstrap the bean so we could just carry her and the stroller up the circular staircase, and then what looked like a restaurant manager walked up and said "no, no, it's okay, the elevator is working now!"
he led us to the elevator, which opened to let out a disgruntled, harried sushi chef, and we stepped in, praying that it wouldn't break down and leave us stranded. happily, we arrived safely, and we followed him to the upstairs hostess. our table was being set, so we stepped aside while my brother went to the restroom to wash his hands. and then i remembered that i'd read on yelp that the restrooms were...interesting. so i excused myself and walked into the ladies', just a few feet away.
this is really effing freaky.
as you wash your hands, these faces are just staring at you. so weird. philippe starck is one wack ass motherfucker.
our table was right in the middle of the action, with the bar on one side and one of several sushi bars on the other. we were right next to two large groups, and our table had two chairs on one side and a sofa on the other. heh. it was one of those painfully hip, modern restaurants, with minimalistic furnishings, close-up pictures of a geisha's ear covering one wall in front of us, and LOUD. anyway, i planted my ass right onto that sofa, got the bean settled, and opened my menu to check out the eats.
our server came to hand us lukewarm hand towels and take our drink order, which she tapped out onto a palm pilot-like device, and explained that there were three separate kitchens - one for sushi, one to produce the grilled menu items, and another for everything else. we hoped this meant that the food would come flying out, since we were all really hungry.
ha! not so much.
we ordered a total of four cut rolls, some miso soup, an appetizer of panko-crusted blue crab claws, edamame (SIX dollar edamame, i shit you not), and the hub ordered a variety of sushi and sashimi for himself. we figured we'd just eat and order more as we found our favorites.
and as we got the first roll - rock shrimp tempura over spicy tuna - we were in heaven. the food was really delicious! we giggled at the edamame, because it looked like about 12 pods served in a HUGE bowl, and sat and chatted. i finally had the chance to bust out the cool boon spoon, which i'd filled with pureed carrots, and the hub blurted out "what the hell is THAT?" as i proceeded to feed the bean. haha! the server saw it and thought it was the coolest thing EVAH. i liked her. ;)
the hub's sushi came out, one by one, and the rolls came at an alarmingly slow pace. the server said that she was holding some of the order back so that we wouldn't receive everything at once - which was exactly the opposite of what we wanted. um, we even TOLD you were hungry, heffa. ugh.
by the time we'd polished off the third roll, we'd already been sitting there for two hours. and we continued to chat and laugh and wait patiently for the last roll, because everything was so spaced out that we weren't even close to being full. when we voiced our annoyance to the server, she apologized and said that she'd forgotten to place the order for that last roll with the sushi chefs. ugh. and a few minutes later, the manager came over to apologize and tell us that he'd comp our appetizers and drinks (which were only sodas and a couple of beers for the hub). okay, fine.
another 30 minutes later, we STILL hadn't gotten served. and by now we were really irritated. all the tables around us had been turned over at least once, if not twice, since we'd been sitting there - including the two large tables behind us! we flagged down the server again and she apologized yet again. the manager returned to apologize again, and the hub chewed him a new asshole, but in a nice way. and i piped up this time: "hell, we've got a baby with us. we figured you'd want to get US outta here fast." and he said "i'm really sorry, i'll do the best i can in adjusting your bill for you." dude, you're the MANAGER. you could comp the whole damn meal for us, if you were really sorry.
the roll finally came, we devoured it (while we were annoyed as hell, we all had to admit that the food was really delicious), the hub handed the server his card, and the bean, o, and i headed downstairs to get the hell outta dodge. and when we looked at the receipt, we'd been comped for our edamame, the two miso soups, and a couple of rolls.
and the bill still came out to $118. holy mother of sushi.
we walked around a bit, noting that the shops were already closed - and it was only 9:00! how lame. there were still a zillion people milling around, so you'd think they'd try to take advantage and score some more sales, but that's typical retail for you. on weekdays, they're open till 9, and on weekends when people are off work, out and about, they shut down at 7. stupid.
the old school good humor ice cream truck was, unfortunately, all shut down by the time we walked past it, so we grabbed dessert at the nestle toll house kiosk and stood in front of the fountain. and in no time, the opening bars of a celine dion song came over the speakers and the water show began. the others smirked at this, but hey, i like celine. i'm sure that's no shock to you. ha!
and the bean was transfixed by the dancing water and lights. she was so tired, her eyes were so heavy, and yet she couldn't stop watching.
up the elevators we went, into the car, and before we could get on the freeway, the bean was sound asleep.