Resistance is futile

Resist the temptation to dismiss Katana as another hack-rate Japanese strip-mall joint. Well, it is a Japanese strip-mall joint, situated across from Target and next door to a scary-looking pho restaurant, but Katana is more than its location. Thank God. Open for lunch and dinner, Katana offers the whole shebang, Nipponese-style: the obligatory teriyaki family (chicken to calamari and salmon), bento boxes, lacy tempura and enough sushi and sashimi to satiate even the most discriminating samurai. Since I’ve been fighting off a cold, I was looking for something soothing, and I found it in Katana’s robust pork udon (fat, velvety rice noodles in a rich broth with grilled pork and scallions). And the spouse was more than pleased with bento box No. 3 (chicken teriyaki, vegetable tempura and tasty steamed dumplings, or gyoza). But best of all is the teppan chef (who insists his name is Jose Toyota), who will slice, dice and crack you up while crafting a custom meal at your table in a low-key way that’s far cooler than the typical Benihana theatrics.