San Francisco: Katana-Ya

My old college roommate and I met up for dinner last Thursday.  Now that we're both in San Francisco, it makes finding a dining companion much easier.

We decided to check out Katana-Ya:

Luckily, when we showed up there wasn't a wait at all.  But by the time we placed our orders, a bunch of people were crowding around the door, peering in through the windows.  What can I say?  My friends and I have always been trendsetters.  Where we go, people follow.  (Go ahead and laugh.  I cringed a little myself when I typed that.)

Gotta love the neon lights:

It took us forever to figure out what we wanted to order.  The process was complicated by the fact that they'd RUN OUT OF TEMPURA.  How is that even possible at a Japanese restaurant?  We had the send the server away because we were so thrown off by her announcement.

We originally wanted to get a ramen combo with a tempura rice bowl.  With tempura out of the equation, we settled on the salmon avocado roll:

Very good rolls.  The salmon was fresh and the avocado nice and fatty.

The ramen combos only allow you to go with the regular ramen.  Out of the soup options (soy, miso, and salt), we both agreed on miso:

The soup base was a little underwhelming, but the ramen noodles had a great texture to it.  My friend doesn't like bamboo, so I got to pick out all the shoots.  Score for me!

When our original plans derailed, we had a hard time choosing a second dish.  Tempura was basically in all the stuff we were interested in.  Thankfully, the katsu-don was still available:

Very yummy, but not too spectacular.  There was quite a lot of meat though, which I appreciated.

Overall, it was a great meal.  We took our sweet time finishing every bite and had a blast just catching up on everything that happened since we last talked.  While the ambiance was fun and the food decent, I don't really see what all the fuss is about on Yelp.  I can see myself coming back, but I probably wouldn't stand in line for it.

430 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 771-1280


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