Katsu Cafe sushi is just satisfactory

by Christine Whitman , Senior Staff Writer

With restaurants on every corner, trying to decide where to eat in Kearny Mesa can be challenging.

Located on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Katsu Cafe opened its doors in 2014 and is known for its wide range of familiar options including Teriyaki bowls, noodles and sushi.

The establishment offers indoor seating only, perfect for the recently freezing San Diego winter. Katsu Cafe is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

The restaurant never seems busy because of the large amount of seating, which is a welcomed change from other local restaurants. Katsu Cafe is family friendly and great for large groups of friends. However, many customers attend during their lunch hour or after work, so it’s best to avoid those times.

Katsu Cafe offers customers a beach vibe with art prints of the Hawaiian Islands and Tiki heads placed along the wall. Several of the tables also feature large straw umbrellas, although it’s unlikely that it will rain inside. The best way to describe Katsu Cafe is as a sit-down restaurant with a fast-food feel.

Although Katsu offers sushi, the menu is not as comprehensive as the rest of the options. Sushi seems to be in a relatively smaller demand by the restaurant’s customers.

One of the Katsu Cafe specials is a fried California roll. The fried roll contains imitation crab, cucumber and avocado wrapped in seaweed and rice. The roll itself is nothing special, but for being fried it’s not overwhelming.

The strangest thing about the special is that it comes with an overly large portion of fries. Who knew sushi and fries could ever share a plate? The fries are served steaming hot and topped with salmon, Parmesan cheese and green onions.

While the dish in its entirety may seem strange, the price is not as the dish costs only $8.

“Katsu Cafe is pretty cheap Japanese food,” engineering junior Sarah Chin said. “The food is not the best, but it’s still pretty great for the price.”

The menu itself offers several other mediocre options but at a lower cost compared to other restaurants. However, Katsu Cafe also offers an ahi poke bowl, which looks and tastes more upscale than other options. The bowl features white rice, ahi tuna, avocado and a combination of other vegetables for $9.

The service is quick and the staff is friendly, which is always a plus. Katsu Cafe offers customers even more savings with a happy hour 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday. The happy hour offers a great opportunity for clientele of legal drinking age as beverages significantly drop in price during those hours.

While it’s not a restaurant to drive out of the way for, Katsu Cafe is a great spot to hit for those who happen to be in the area and want cheap Japanese cuisine. There are definitely better options in the area but perhaps not for the same price.