Katsuya Glendale: A+ Service, Free Food & Praise for SBE
The other day, I met up with an old coworker-turned-friend of mine for lunch at Katsuya Glendale—a middle ground meeting location since we both know better than to mess with Friday afternoon L.A. traffic. What I didn’t know beforehand was that the friend I was meeting up with, Jelloyd, now works for a restaurant within SBE Entertainment Group (which Katsuya is a part of), a hospitality, real estate, and entertainment company. I learned very quickly that SBE takes damn good care of their own. Because, I got to see it firsthand. Let me explain.
(Not pictured: Most of the food, because it was in our bellies.)
After Jelloyd and I had eaten the items we ordered—mouth-watering crispy Brussel’s sprouts, flavorful pork belly sliders, and a tasty sushi roll—we were greeted by Chef Nick, who brought us some suuuper fresh red snapper sashimi that wasn’t on the menu. Surprise treats like this would become a very welcomed, albeit filling, trend throughout the rest of our visit at Katsuya Glendale. Every time we thought we couldn’t handle another bite of anything, Chef Nick would come walking over with a plate of finger-lickin’ goodness to prove us wrong. Evidently, we could handle another bite. Or two. Or five. After the sashimi it was street corn (not on the menu, but if you ask for it, it’s all yours— thank me later). Then it was two shots of sake— one for each of us (luckily I had Jelloyd to help me out with mine, because I’m apparently too lame for one afternoon shot). Then it was a plate of robata. If you don’t know what robata is, let’s have a little chat. I’m going to ask you to please picture this for me… Chicken. Steak. Shrimp. Veggies. Slow-grilled over hot charcoal. Served on skewers. ‘Nough said. Needless to say, we felt like family. The royal kind. While the food was tasty and flavorful, it was the outstanding service that elevated the entire experience for me. The staff genuinely cared about taking care of us, as well as our thoughts on the dishes and flavors. All because Jelloyd—someone they had never met before—works for a sister restaurant.
This may sound silly, but it genuinely warmed my heart. As we all know, people and restaurants in L.A.—or anywhere, for that matter—can be disingenuous. Too often I see bosses looking out for themselves and their highest-paying clients and neglecting their employees. This is an absolute business killer, because it creates a major disconnect and sense of distrust from top to the bottom. That being said, I want to take a moment to send a big, sincere thank-you to Chef Nick, Manager Sandy, and our server, Briana (hopefully my spelling isn’t too off), who went above and beyond in terms of friendliness and hospitality. I also want to further acknowledge what SBE has created: a true sense of community and camaraderie within their business and amongst their employees. Since my excellent experience at Katsuya Glendale, I’ve spoken to some current and previous SBE employees who can attest to this. Once you’re with SBE, you’re family. Although my experience isn’t necessarily the norm, and not everyone dining at an SBE restaurant will have the chef bringing them free food every ten minutes, I did witness a strong sense of teamwork and passion amongst all the staff members— not just the ones helping us, but also the ones we never directly crossed paths with. Every table was treated as warmly as we were. We just got a few extra dishes on the house.
In conclusion: I will be going out with my SBE friends more often!