Hauter Than Wasabi

If you have not been to Katsuya, what are you waiting for? I first experienced the heavenly goodness of a baked crab hand roll four years ago, and from that point on, I was hooked. I know what you are thinking. That is not exactly the model of health and wellness. It is a delightful, creamy, yummy concoction that melts in your mouth. I promise you, once your mouth experiences this non-sushi dining experience, your life will be changed forever. If you start dreaming about the crispy rice with spicy tuna or the creamy rock shrimp, you are not alone. And may I add, that if you catch yourself sitting in glorious LA rush hour traffic, contemplating making a pit stop to one of the closest locations (Brentwood, Hollywood & Vine, Glendale, or LA Live), I say…Go for it. This is my dedication to cheating. The only kind that I find acceptable, and you can do it once a week.

Here are my rules for cheating at Katsuya:

1)   You are about to cheat for the week. Acceptance. When your phone rings and you are asked to dine at this fine establishment, you are not going to deny yourself the pleasure. Don’t be ridiculous, because you are not training for Mr. Olympia. It is okay, take a deep breath, accept it, and enjoy.

2)   Do not starve yourself all day. The worst thing you can do is to not eat, and then simply gorge oneself. Eat healthy! Eating small portions more frequently is always the way to go. Just remember–protein, fruits, and veggies. Drink lots of water. Watch your “white” carbohydrates, stay away from soda, and highly processed foods.

3)   Someone over at Katsuya is a sheer genius. They tease you with the perfect amount of naughtiness. When I get a group together, I figure–the more the merrier. I try and stick to at least four people per reservation. It seems to be the magic number when food is distributed, and that way, each person will get his or her fix, without over-eating.

4)   I always start with a mixed salad. You can use this trick at any restaurant. Salads are high in fiber, which helps you to feel fuller and eat less. Another way to fill up is to eat sashimi. When high-grade fish is used, it is delicious on its own. There is no reason to dunk your fish into soy sauce, and turn it into a salt lick. The fresher, the purer, the better. I love the yellow tail sashimi with jalapeño.

5)   Another trick I use is to eat all of the spicy tuna and leave about one-third of the crispy rice. This still gives me the taste, but leaves behind a good portion of the calories. Some of the dishes cannot be manipulated, but you can always skip the soy sauce and avoid rice. Those are two evil-doers.

There is a method to my madness, and it is to let you know that you can treat yourself in moderation. Dining out can make it very difficult to behave, because you are not the one adding the ingredients; hence you have lost all control over your waistline. Part of getting healthy and staying well is exercising regularly, learning self-discipline, and portion control. Even the healthiest people, with the bodies to kill for, will indulge once in awhile. Balance is the key to success. The next time your phone rings, and you hear the word “Katsuya,” remember my little tips. Go ahead and live a little, eat a baked crab hand roll. Their signature cocktails are a whole other entry. Until next time, visit RayleneBartolacci.com. To health and wellness, Salute.