11/28/2012 03:31:00 PM

Nobu Protégé Ushers in a New Era of Decadence at Katsu in Los Gatos

Partial view of the "Decadence Staircase", a $1,200 appetizer surrounded by caviar
Unlike in San Francisco where affordable, casual restaurants are trending, Silicon Valley continues to be the stomping ground for conspicuous consumption for the expense-account darlings who can afford it. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Katsu, the just-opened high-end Japanese fusion restaurant run by a Nobu protégé, would set up shop not in Downtown San Francisco but in Downtown Los Gatos.

Don’t let the name fool you: katsu refers not to the humble Japanese cutlet but to the chef, Katsuhiko “Katsu” Hanamure, who worked for Nobu for more than 20 years, most recently as the executive chef at Nobu’s in Switzerland and Greece before coming to California. Here in Silicon Valley, his kitchen seems to cater to that same discriminating world traveler clientele with a dinner menu filled with luxury offerings that you could imagine James Bond might order: uni Champagne sliders, filet mignon with wasabi-pepper sauce and a Japanese Waygu sampler ($400), all washed down with premium sakes in a sleek, high-tech looking 72-seat dining room that glows with purple ambient lighting.

Of course, there are also two prix fixe options (a 9-course omakase for $295 and a mini kaiseki for $100) but what’s really been turning heads is its signature a la carte dish – dubbed the Decadence Staircase (partially pictured above) – a sampler plate filled with Waygu shabu shabu and spiny lobster sashimi topped with 24 karat gold leaf surrounded by ramekins filled with Russian Sevruga, golden Osetra and Beluga caviar that cascade down a set of bamboo “stairs” -  currently priced at $1,200. 

Before you smirk, know this. There must be a market for this. As of this morning, most of the prime-time reservations slots for Saturday nights in the month of December have already been taken. 

Katsu: 160 West Main St; Los Gatos, 408-222-1212


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