Los Angeles' Famed Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi on What Makes the Perfect Sushi

By Jessica Estrada | November 8, 2018 | Food & Drink

It’s safe to say that lauded master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi has created a sushi empire. With locations all over the globe, his namesake restaurants have become a go-to for sushi lovers everywhere. So when it comes to making sushi, he’s your man. Uechi spills the secret behind his amazing sushi. Plus, sbe Lifestyle Hospitality's chief culinary officer, Martin Heierling, fills us in on what’s new on the menu at Katsuya.


On His Secret For Making Amazing Sushi

“A long time of experience and knowledge of how to find the right fish and how to properly cook sushi rice,” Uechi says. “People think that anyone can make sushi rice, but that is not true. The rice must be warm, body temperature. Sushi is the collaboration of fresh fish and rice nicely molded correctly. It cannot be too hard or too soft. The technique used is the secret.”

On What Inspired His Restaurant Empire

“My mother used to have a restaurant,” Uechi says. “I am inspired by her influence.”

On Katsuya’s New Menu & What Inspired It

“The inspiration behind this new menu was to move the Katsuya brand forward with innovative and inspiring dishes and presentations, yet preserving chef Katsuya's approach to traditional Japanese food based on ingredients and best quality,” Heierling says. “Katsuya’s menu hasn't evolved very much over the past 10 years and it was time to create new dishes whilst still featuring the classics chef Katsuya is known for. This menu features 12 new menu items as well as the chef Katsuya classic set menu option where we serve all the best-selling dishes in one menu.”

On The Top Dishes On The Menu

“Obviously, the classic baked crab handroll in soy paper and chef Katsuya's original yellowtail jalapeno is off the charts, “ Heierling says of his favorite dishes. “We have an amazing robata program and the favorite item on the new menu is probably the robata short rib with Japanese BBQ sauce and served under a smoke-filled cloche.”

On What’s Next For The Katsuya Empire

“Katsuya continues to expand and make its way around the globe,” Heierling says. “By the end of this year, there will be 20 Katsuya locations with the latest openings in Dubai and the Middle East. Katsuya London and Paris are in the works with planned openings by late 2019 or early 2020.”

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