7/10/2013 02:31:00 PM

Best Thing We Ate: Katsu-ya's Classic Baked Crab Roll

Maybe it didn't make Jonathan Gold's latest sushi list, but Katsu-ya in Studio City is still a lot of people's favorite sushi spot (and a consistent Zagat list-topper). Even after the partnership with SBE for the splashy Katsuya by Starck chainlet, the original location does swift business for its fairly straightforward nigiri and not-so-traditional spicy tuna on crispy rice. The place is almost always packed, as it was during a recent lunch shift, which says something considering the myriad sushi choices nearby. One thing is for sure: If you're going to pop into Katsu-ya on a whim, there's no way you can leave without a baked crab hand roll.

The buttery crab, the warm rice, the soft soy paper sheath - the whole thing just sort of melts in your mouth, gone in just a few bites. It's such a specialty of the house, you'll watch it go out to almost every table. Sure, you can get the baked crab roll at those non-hyphenated shiny Katsuyas in Hollywood, Glendale or Brentwood. But for some reason it just tastes better in the Valley.

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