Kato is a casual Japanese/Taiwanese tasting menu spot in West LA for people who don't like tasting menus.
Came here for a birthday which is befitting for a tasting menu. Small place in a non descript plaza, but the ambience and service was amazing! Fairly formal, but with a relaxed hip hop r&b playlist going, definitely breaks it up a bit.
I was expecting more Japanese flair, but the menu for the night was definitively Taiwanese. Lobster squid ink was fantastic and there were a couple misses for me, but the saving grace comes near the end of the meal - bolo bao was one of the best things I have ever eaten. Sweet, savory, soft, crunchy, silky, warrants another visit another time!
Kato is a little gem where each dish is prepared lovingly. The only reason I don't go more often is that because it's a set menu, I choose to wait until the next iteration before returning. My only qualm is the absence of a wine list, which is compounded by the fact that we're not permitted to bring our own bottles. But I love it nonetheless.
The place is great. It is a mostly inventive tasting menu, which is great, but the flip side of that is you don’t get to choose your meal. I eat anything lol, and I really liked everything but one of the 10-courses. My wife is a bit more picky so there were a couple of courses that she either picked around or didn’t eat. The ones she did eat, she loved. The service was awesome. The people were knowledgeable and polite. The background music was stellar. I marked 3 stars for value because there were enough dishes that weren’t inventive enough that i didn’t think i could execute them at home, and it’s not cheap. Without drinks, with tip, it was a little over $100. All that being said, I’d go again when the menu changes.
- Very young chef who clearly has talent but is inexperienced. Some of the food is interesting but the menu construction is all over the place. The dishes are individual dishes and for a tasting menu it should have some continuity to it and it doesn't.
- Nothing on the menu was a wow. Some of the experimenting going on in the kitchen worked (the tapioca cubes or the branzino) but others really fell flat (the corn & egg bisque and the sweet bun with pineapple and foie gras)
- Attentive and nice service.
- Cool minimalist design and good play list.
- Bummer they don't a liquor license.
They've upped the price (to $85) and the number of courses (to 11) since last we were there. Creative food. We were very happy with it, and will return. Note still no liquor license.
Our new favorite restaurant what we crave when it's been too long. The staff treat you like welcomed family and the food is an outstanding treat. Creative, beautiful and popping with flavor. Always some repeats that we long for as well as something new.
Went to Kato's for a birthday, my daughter wanted a tasting menu. It did not disappoint. The staff were helpful, friendly and attentive. They fully explained each of the 12 courses as they came out. Each course was unique and was fun to explore. We didn't feel rushed and took our time. Would definitely recommend for someone looking for great food, atmosphere and a adventure.
Super rich tasting menu. Chef likes sugar more than salt. Beautiful looking plates. Waygu short rib was tough. Euro disco soundtrack in stark white room felt like NY 15 years ago
The service was great but the food did not quite match up. For the $85 tasting menu, and adding on tax and tip (about $110), it comes out to about $10 / bite (11 course meal) For that price you would expect everything to be perfect and with an interesting flair.
A+ on being interesting with some really neat combinations. Not so good with the taste/cooking.
A lobster dish, that was smothered in sauce -- turned out way too salty.
A sea bass, that was well on it's way to overdone.
The wagyu short rib a bit on the tougher side.
However the two desserts are pretty decent.
That and the tofu was very smooth, was impressed.
On the plus side, my water cup was never empty, which given how much water I drank means great service. It can get a bit noisy due to the size of the place, but that doesn't really bother me. The ambiance is slightly brighter than that candle-light dim you typically get at really romantic places - which is a plus for me as it let's you admire the plating of the food.
Go for the fun and interesting dinner experience.
Excellent food; excellent service!
Amazing experience with great staff
A perfect, wonderful little gem of a hidden restaurant. Beautiful, inventive tasting menu food. One of my favorites.
We went to Kato for my husband's birthday. Fun and surprising menu. Each dish was delicious. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience! Highly recommend.
Very well hidden gem in an inobtrusive strip mall. Quietly incredible cuisine - each dish better than the last. 4 snacks and 13 courses for $85? Sign me up. Beware - no liquor license and no BYO.
I've been to Kato on numerous occasions- with family, wife, friends. Each experience has been executed perfectly with surprising consistency. There is always a dialogue to the food and the service is mindfully astute. I would recommend Kato for a weekday date night or catching up with friends. Keep up the lovely work.
On our 3rd visit to Kato, we found the tasting menu as outstanding as ever, prepared with great care, with wonderful tastes and textures. A true favorite!
Amazing food. Amazing Staff. Small, but music is good, and service was on point.
The food was inventive and tasty, however we both left hungry. We also saw another couple who'd left a bit before us coming back to their car with tacos, so clearly the hunger thing is common. Additionally the lack of at least a byob option is a serious downside. Likely won't be back.
Excellent Tasting menu and service. Only wished they served alcohol or you could BYO.
Amazing food, great value, chill vibe. I took my girlfriend out here for her birthday and we were both very impressed. Food was of the quality that would usually cost twice as much. No alcohol is a bit of a bummer, but for the price point, I will definitely go again. We went at night and it was a romantic, candlelit setting with R&B in the background. Great date spot!
Amazing!! Can’t be beat for the price.
I have been here a handful of times and it keeps getting better. It's hard to believe how much value you get on the tasting menu! Many of the dishes would be Standalone entrees for 20 or 30 bucks by themselves. This guy's creativity is amazing, and that's extended to the desserts as well. I mean come on, an elderberry Otter Pop? Genius. When we went there was a 7 and 10 course option. You'd be happy with either but they don't overload you. He's got a new bread course that's essentially I'll waffle served with an amazing coconut dipping sauce that could be a dessert at any restaurant in town. I could go on and on, but trust me when I say this is a gem worth discovering!
It's great especially for the price point but they need a liquor license or at least a BYOB policy. Hard to see myself going back on a weekend night
New taste and combinations on a ten course menu for $85
We enjoyed it immensely
Wish they a beer or wine liscense
Nice friendly staff. Good "foodie" food. Very expensive for what it is. However, the lack of a liquor license is a show stopper and no BYOB. Parking is problematic as well, but there's always Uber.
A complete train wreck. Nothing redeeming about this place....and shockingly expensive. The best thing I can say is that it will likely be closed soon.
Great experience, service was excellent and food was top notch. Definitely going back for another tasting menu!
innovative cooking with excellent ingredients, interesting composition of each plate and a very nice menu creation that takes your taste buds through some wonderful and interesting moments. Needs to get a wine license.
Always love eating here. Menu changes seasonally, and the tastes are out of this world. Eight courses are satisfying, but big eaters should go for the 12 course menu. One gluten-free guest was accommodated graciously with two generously sized dishes while others in our part enjoyed the tasting menu. Service is warm and friendly.
The Japanese/Taiwanese inspired food came in small plates. Some outstanding, others very good. The mix was fun. Service was outstanding. A little pricey at $50 or 80 per person but a lot of work went into each dish. I would definitely go again. Oh, it can be hard to find as it is tucked into a shopping mall without signs.
The restaurant is a little hidden inside a strip mall. The only sign is on the door. But once you enter the restaurant, a person comes up to you right away to check you in and take you to your table. The staff was nice, friendly, and informative. The food was great. It comes out faster than other restaurants with tasting menu. I had the 10 course meal. I would go back. You can't beat the value of that place.
Wonderful food with beautiful flavor combinations. Would highly recommend to anyone interested in food, but must like seafood. Great service, absolutely worth the visit.
Kato is art-on-a-plate. Beautiful, low-key, delicious
Everything is good. We ordered the$55 tasting menu. It was a good amount for us. I wish the wine pairing option.
Kato is a dressy casual dining experience where Taiwanese and Japanese meet Modern cuisine. It was incredible to say the least! From the food to the service, everything was excellent. Kato was definitely one of my favorite tasting menus ever. We chose the 10 course for $80 and were satiated - didn't leave hungry or too full.
My favorites of the evening included...
• Cold smoked hamachi with pickled cucumbers and charred scallion vinaigrette
• Cold Korean style Noodle in tomato water broth
• Poached ocean trout and ikura (salmon eggs) in a black vinegar dashi broth
• Foie Gras and strawberry jam Uncrustable
• Buttermilk custard and Yuzu granita (ice)
• Wasabi ice cream with caramel sauce, lime zest and hint of salt
Can't wait to come back and try a new menu in the future!
Kat is a wonderful restaurant, and good value for the money. The food is inventive, fresh, and delicious, and the staff friendly and charming.
love the unexpected mix of flavors, made each course exciting and most importantly delicious.
Kato was hard to find because it's tucked in the corner behind a post but...the food was amazing as was the service! Get here before it's swamped.
The food was amazing. The flavor combinations were astounding. The chef had a delicate hand and most of the flavors worked. The foie gras bao with strawberry jam was so good. The meal was light, refreshing, and tantalizing. The desserts were also amazing. It seemed to us that the chef and pastry chef were passionate about their food and were having fun putting together things. We loved the pastry chef's interpretation of a strawberry tart. I don't know how they can make a profit on these meals...I will suggest smaller portions and increasing the price. $50 for 8 courses or $80 for 10 courses seems very under priced. The portions were huge and we were left very full. I would also suggest fewer desserts or smaller desserts. All in all it was a memorable meal.