Kato - Extended Tasting Menu

I was always hesitant to try kato because of their tiny portions and for FOLH™ (Fear Of Leaving Hangry.) But now with their newly introduced 9 course tasting menu i figured I’d give them a try. They also stopped serving their supplemental courses (they’re opening a new “fast-casual” place) so your only choices are the 6 or 9 course tasting menus.

Unfortunately the portions are still small and i still left hungry after 9 courses, 3 orders of bread and over $100 after tax and tip. Fortunately the food was tasty and shunji is right down the road.

Highlights were the corn, softshell crab, trout, and duck.

strawberry soda

corn, truffle, yolk
I felt like a giant eating this, this came in a bowl the size of a tea cup. The yolk had that perfect texture between soft Play-Doh and warm fudge. The corn had a nice subtle sweetness, but the single shaving of truffle was just ornamental.

hamachi, cucumber, scallion
Buttery and soft

tuna, beets, plum
A little too sweet with beets, not bad.

burrata, xo, celery

carbs, gluten

[half] softshell crab, basil
Perfectly fried and crispy crab with chunks of sweet meat. If anybody sees the other half of my softshell crab walking around please let me know.

ocean trout, cabbage, eggplant
Pillowly soft sous vide trout, very good.

duck, kelp, mushroom
I’m pretty sure this was sous vide-ed again. The duck could have been warmer and skin crispier but the flavors were “on point.”

crab, conpoy, nori

buttermilk, rose

not toto

Banging continues at Shunji

Kato
11925 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(424) 535-3041
https://www.katorestaurant.com/

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Thanks @PorkyBelly. Nice pics and thoughts. :slight_smile: Were most of the dishes in the tea cup size portions like the egg? I get that it’s a tasting menu, but I could see why you left hungry. Especially since the previous highlight you and JL? and others pointed out (a pork belly rice bowl?) is now no longer on the menu.

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I would be so sad if that was my plate of soft shell crab. What do you think would happpen of you asked for seconds?

Also, that is like a quarter stalk of celery. Cheap bastards.

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What do you think would happpen of you asked for seconds?

Ask the table next to @PorkyBelly for the other half. Geez - crab on the half-softshell - what next…?

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Did they not offer the supplements with the longer meal? Those are generally a bit more substantial than the TM™ dishes.
Still no booze? That food cries out for beer/sake/wine/soju.

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the supplements are completely gone now with the addition of the longer menu. I was so looking forward to that damn chicken sandwich and pork belly rice. when they told me this would be my last savory course and they’re not offering any supplements i died a lil inside.

still no booze.

sad

even sadder

I get the feeling they are pretty open to suggestions if you talk to them -looks like a very small team. The portion sizes are super small but I very much appreciate the creativity at that price point as someone for whom tasting menus are usually not in the budget.

The egg was the smallest dish, everything else i would say was appetizer size or smaller. at $80 + tax and tip it’s not quite the bargain. as for the smaller menu at $55, i can’t imagine anybody with an average appetite being satisfied, especially with no more supplements.

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I look at Kato as a 5-9 course series of exquisite amuse bouche to start my evening. Once that’s done, then Shunji is usually the next bang bang.

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Good ol’ Nancy sings the FTC anthem:

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Nothing cries out for soju.

I kid. Sort of.

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Hahaha. Kind of true.

I left a message, at Kato, asking if we could bring our own booze and never heard back. Not sure what the rule is. I remember years ago, spending time in Manhattan, the restaurants would advertise BYOB, but I think on a thread here it was mentioned that unless they already have a liquor license, they can’t serve.

They weren’t allowing byob when i went

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When I last went they said they are in the process of getting their license and don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.

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They called me and told me that it was BYOB.

This restaurant is excellent. Easily the best non-Japanese Asian food I’ve eaten in LA. (Though it seems Japanese in some ways…)

I was told you have to use their water glasses for anything you bring in.

What if I BOYG(lass)?

Let’s not jeopardize Kato’s license application by going on about the BYOB. Only half kidding.

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