Saturday, December 17, 2011

Katsuya Glendale - Happy Hour Deal Stack x5

Happy Hours aren't going to be enjoyable if you have to stressball through rush hour LA traffic to get there. 

Well, those in the Valley who love a good happy hour with decent food and cocktails at a decent price in a relatively upscale setting can find a great place to enjoy all this without having to trek to the Westside: at Katsuya by Starck at the Americana at Brand in Glendale.

For "Ms Sassy", "Sawyer" and I, Glendale is an easy drive from the office and a great place to destress after a long day/week.  You get the ambience and menu of Katsuya without the wait, parking nightmare and the sometimes douchey crowd of the Hollywood location.

On our last outing, good times were made great with an epic (and shameless on my part...) deal stacking that led to nearly $60 saved!

We started off with my favorite cocktail from Katsuya,  Burning Mandarin ($7 HH, $13 regular) made with Absolut Mandarin vodka, handcrushed serrano chili, fresh lemon and orange juice, splash of cranberry.  Love the layers of flavor in this drink - with bold but perfectly balanced spicy / citrus, and tangy flavors, subtle heat unfolding with each sip - a perfectly controlled kick countered by a sugar rim.  We got four of these, saving $6 on each with Happy Hour pricing (for total discount of $24!)
On previous visits we'd ordered the Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna ($5/2pcs HH, $13/2pcs regular) but as Sawyer isn't so much into raw fish, and we just came from a holiday party where we'd eaten a lot already, we just got a few of their other signature roll to snack on. The Baked Crab Hand Roll ($5/pc HH, $14/2pcs regular) consists of baked snow crab in light signature sauce wrapped with rice in soy paper.  The soy paper versus usual seaweed wrap is a nice creative spin, and the crab tasted fresh and subtly sweet.  We also appreciated that it wasn't drenched in mayonnaise based sauce like some other sushi joints would tend to do with crab.

We got 5 of these total, saving $2 each for total of $10 off!

For a change of pace, Ms. Sassy wanted to check out the Chicken Karaage ($12 regular) even though it wasn't offered at Happy Hour price.  I do like fried chicken, especially Japanese / Korean style, and poked my chopsticks over initially just for a taste, but these were so good I ended up eating half of her plate (sorry Ms. Sassy!)
The chicken was fried with a fine grain panko that made for a smooth but crunchy crust - this deliciousness was taken over the top with what I'm going to just call "awesome sauce" that was a perfect mix of sweet, tart, vinegary, with slight bit of heat from chilis.

While most places will just offer a handful of drinks and bar bites for Happy Hour, Katsuya has a pretty decent selection of fan favs from their regular menu as well as their signature cocktails and other drinks - here's the full HH menu:

So I did mention epic deal stacking - what else besides Happy Hour pricing? 

While Katsuya by Starck is part of the SBE group, which just launched their own SBE Preferred loyalty program, we discovered that you actually get a better deal, if you're at the Glendale location - if you use the Americana at Brand loyalty card (15% off your total bill AND points towards a gift cert to use at restaurants in the complex!).  It's free to join either loyalty program - for the Americana one, just sign up online or in-person at the concierge desk in the lobby of the parking structure.

Use a credit card that you've linked up to an airline frequent flyer or hotel loyalty program and you'll automatically get points on top of it all. 

Use OpenTable to make your reservation and you get points when you show up, that you could put towards redemption of OpenTable Dining Cheques (earn 2000 points = $20, 5000 = $50 etc.) that could be used at any OpenTable restaurant. Reservations are typically worth 100 points each, but sometimes you'll find a 1000 point deal.

Lastly - Katsuya validates BOTH valet and self-parking, for three hours.  Validation means FREE for 3 hours. Normally Americana offers 1st hour free, 2nd hour for $3 and 3rd hour for $5.  We ended up hanging out for about 3 hours - with two cars we ended up saving $16.

The score:
1. Happy Hour pricing - total savings: $34
2. Americana at Brand Loyalty Program discount - 15% - total savings: $9.75
3. Free Valet / Self-park - total savings: $16
4. Hotel points from using credit card associated with Starwood
5. OpenTable reservation & check-in - 100 points

Total $ savings: $59.75

With the expenses that holidays bring, and the continuing bad economy, we could all use ways to save money - and our lovely little get together at Katsuya Glendale was one that helped us a lot with that goal!

The other best thing about HH at Katsuya Glendale?  It's on EVERY DAY - Monday-Friday 5-7pm, Saturday & Sunday 11am-4pm.

Katsuya, we will see you again very soon!

On a 7 point scale:

Flavor - 5.5 bites
Presentation - 5.5 bites
Originality - 6 bites
Ambience - 6 stars 
Service - 5.5 stars
Overall experience - 6 bites
Price - $ (1 bite mark) 
Probability of return visit - 100% 

Katsuya by Starck Glendale
The Americana at Brand
702 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210
Ph: 818.244.5900

Happy Hour: M-F 5-7pm, Sa&Su 11:30am-4pm
Parking: Valet or self-park in mall structure (both free for 3 hours with validation)

OpenTable: Look for reservations (and points!)


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