Flashing lights, celebrities, oh my! As a Los Angeles native, I’m not afraid to admit that unless there’s a great play like Wicked or Jersey Boys going on at the Pantages Theatre, I try to avoid Hollywood as much as possible. Traffic, tourists, that whole area just doesn’t seem like fun. But my attitude towards Hollywood has definitely changed in the last year or so. What you may not know is that in the last few years, there’s been some major upgrades being done to Hollywood to attract not just tourists, but local foodies like me who want to try unique experiences with their friends. With $4.8 billion in investment in Hollywood over the past several years, many organizations and businesses have been trying to breathe new life to Hollywood while keeping its unique creative identity. Today I’m sharing with you some secret menus and some grand openings about to hit Hollywood so you can be the first to tell your foodie friends where to go. I’ll be doing a 3-part guide to introduce you some of my must-go to places in Hollywood. Park your car, take a walk and learn something new. Update yourself on all the new happenings in the area so you can take your friends out and be an awesome tour guide. So let’s get started!
KATSUYA HOLLYWOOD: It isn’t a night out on town if Katsuya isn’t mentioned! You go to Katsuya to be in the ‘in’ crowd. Beautiful ambiance, open-sushi bar, great food, and good people watching!But first, let me take a selfie in the Katsuya bathroom.
I was so excited to be invited amongst a select few influential bloggers on hand to try out the newest menu that Katsuya will be rolling out in the next few weeks. I started off the night with this Burning Mandarin cocktail made with Absolut mandarin, hand-cruses serrano chili, fresh lemon, orange, and cranberry juice. It had a nice mandarin orange taste with a spicy kick aftertaste from the chili. Then came the Katsuya’s famous crispy rice with spicy tuna. Did you know that last year the restaurant sold more than 1.5 million orders of just this dish alone? Insane! Presentation, presentation, presentation! How gorgeous does the Hokkaido Scallop Sashimi look? The scallop was presented in a spoon marinated in a concoction of green ponzu, Fuhi apple, ginger oil, and watercress. Mouthwatering! Absolutely delectable. Speaking of presentation, I was so impressed by their soon-to-be on the menu Truffle and Chive Chawanmushi. each egg is hollowed out and filled with three layers of truffle, savory egg, and light soy. Here’s a close up of the beauty. The egg was so soft. It melted in my mouth and wow… the truffle flavor was on point! Just when I thought I couldn’t be more impressed by the new dishes coming to Katsuya, they bring over this baby. Seriously? How do they expect me to go back to eating regular fried rice after they bring over this A-4 Wagyu Fried Rice? The Wagyu beef is flown in from Japan to Katsuya twice a week. The Wagyu chunks were juicy and tender and topped with lots of fried garlic chips. Wow! I’m drooling recounting my meal right now. Of course, if that’s not for you Katsuya also has a secret menu for those watching their carb intake because after all… we are in LA.
KATSUYA SECRET MENU:
- Halibut carpaccio, pineapple salsa, truffle oil, ponzu
- Tuna ponzu, grapefruit ponzo gelee, grapefruit segment, blue fin tuna, daikon shiso salad with fresh wasabi.
- Scallop sunamono: scallop crudo with cucumber, lime, amazu in a spoon
- Cold smoked salmon, spicy seaweed salad, citrus crème fraiche.
Special tip: They’ll put any sashimi on spaghetti squash instead of rice for those watching their calories or carbs. Just ask for the Hollywood style.
Next up, let me introduce to an amazing gelato shop that will be opening up soon in the next few weeks!
GROM: Grom is the king of gelato in Italy. With 56 stores in Italy and another 7 around the world, Grom knows how to make gelato right. Here’s where Grom is located. If it looks familiar, it’s because they replaced what used to be Crumbs. It’s in one of the most highly foot trafficked areas of Hollywood so it’s a wonderful location. As you can probably tell from the photo, Grom is not yet open. Of course, that’s what I’m here for! Here’s what you can expect. Let me preface this by saying I’m had gelato from around the world and Grom’s gelato was mind-blowingly amazing. They use only 100% natural ingredients. They only use fresh and seasonal fruit. You won’t find any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives of any kind in any of their products. Grom’s uses high-quality milk and cage-free eggs. And… it’s gluten free. I had a swirl of their most popular flavor the crema di grom (a chocolate chip mix) paired with lemon. It melted in my mouth! The texture was so soft.
I am so excited for Grom to open. They don’t have a set date yet since you know there’s a little something called the Academy Awards that may hinder the grand opening a bit. I can confirm it will be open in the next few weeks though! I know it’ll be perfect in the upcoming warmer weather. I also can’t wait to bring my friends to try the new Katsuya menu that they’ll be rolling out soon. I hope you guys enjoy the first of my three part Hollywood guide.
KATSUYA Address: 6300 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
GROM’S Address: 6801 Hollywood Blvd Ste B1-127 Los Angeles, CA 90028
Big thank you to the Hollywood Entertainment District for making this happen and also to the lovely Nerissa Silao for making it happen.