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The restaurant side of the bar has a great vibe

The Amazing Katsuya By S+ARCK

Extraordinary decor and ambiance matches the service and food.

“Featuring the dynamic pairing of Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi and design impresario Philippe Starck, Katsuya by Starck is truly a feast for the senses. With specialty cocktails, unique rolls and spectacular sushi and sashimi platters, Chef Uechi skillfully translates Japanese flavors to the American palate. Signature dishes include Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño and Miso-Marinated Black Cod.” Katsuya’s PR company reached out to me with an invitation to try a variety of items on Katsuya’s menu, and write about what I thought. I had been once before for dinner, had amazing service, but wasn’t focused on all the amazing starters, hot plates, and robata options they had available. This time, I was laser-focused on the food, new cocktail offerings, and sampling their dessert menu, taking photos of each item to feature here for you. Indeed, we ordered each of the signature dishes, and please let me emphasize and underline that they are indeed denoted Signature for a reason. We also ordered a few of the recommended starters, plus edamame more from habit than anything else (mostly because no one has yet stolen the crown of delicious edamame from Miso Harney Sushi, try their lemon edamame to know what I’m talking about). They also had a few brand new cocktails, so of course we tried those as well.

Subtly addicting Sautéed Sishito Peppers

Favorite specialty cocktails include the adventurous Burning Mandarin, made with mandarin vodka, hand-crushed seranno chili, fresh lemon, orange juice and a splash of cranberry and the soothing Watermelon Cucumber Mojito, featuring white rum, crushed seedless watermelon, English cucumbers, fresh mint and freshly squeezed lime juice, among several other custom designed blends. Katsuya is the premiere lunch destination for business pros and casual diners alike in downtown San Diego, offering a mid-day menu Katsuya Bento Box Lunch for under $15. Nightly specials are also offered seven days a week, including Sake Monday, Twofer Tuna Tuesday, Wednesday Industry Night, Thursday Spirit Specials, Friday Seafood Nabemon, Saturday Kobe Specials, and recently introduced several exciting new initiatives in their chic bar area, featuring a new Double Social Hour, an all-night Sunday Funday Social Hour and a brand new cocktail just in time for Football Season:

  • Daily Double Social Hour – The only thing better than happy hour is two happy hours. Katsuya will be serving up $7 Specialty Cocktails and $7 Signature Dishes in the bar and lounge area from 4pm to 7pm and 9pm to close, daily. Also, on special during Social Hour are Well Drinks for $5 and Beer/Wine for $6.
  • Sunday Funday – Downtown dwellers can stop by Katsuya anytime from 4pm to close on Sundays and score Social Hour pricing. Katsuya’s comfortable yet elegant bar and lounge is the perfect place to escape the sun for a refreshing Berry Evocative cocktail and some Honey Yuzu Shrimp.
  • Shaun Phillips’ creates SP 95 for Katsuya San Diego – San Diego Charger and Pro-Bowler Shaun Philips has introduced his own cocktail to Katsuya’s cutting edge drink menu.  The SP 95 is comprised of hand muddled sorrano peppers and mint, Corzo Tequila, Peach Puree, Lime Juice,  and Simple Syrup. This blend of distinctive and invigorating flavors creates a truly refreshing experience.


Katsuya is amazing, with posh decor, great atmosphere, superbly crafted cocktails paired with equally designed cuisine, all delivered by friendly and fast staff. I encourage you to try it yourself, and I’ll bet you won’t be disappointed. If you do, come back and leave your comments with your favorite dish and your thoughts.

Click on a photo to start the full gallery of unique and amazing dishes and cocktails…

About Rob Marlbrough (@DowntownRob)

Bringing you the best, the luxurious, and the unique. DowntownRob is the semi-official ambassador of San Diego, and craves new venues with distinctive flare, amazing food, and superb cocktails.

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