La's Katsuya: First Phillipe Starck/sbe Property To Open In June


Restaurant to Pair Creativity and Talents of Internationally Acclaimed Designer Philippe Starck with Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi

(Los Angeles, CA -- April 24, 2006) - The much-anticipated Katsuya restaurant will open in late June 2006 in Los Angeles' tony Brentwood neighborhood - a prodigious pairing of the supreme talents of master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi and world-renowned designer Philippe Starck. The restaurant will be the first of several Katsuya restaurants to open in Los Angeles - and nationwide - in the coming years.

Owned by the Los Angeles-based SBE Restaurant Group, Katsuya will unleash the culinary wizardry of Chef Uechi, whose eponymous Los Angeles sushi restaurants are among the city's top-rated. Diners at Katsuya will be no less wowed by the spectacular environment created by Starck, whose trend-setting work is known the world over for its sheer brilliance and beauty. Katsuya represents the first Starck-designed property to open under a six-year exclusive signed in 2005 between the designer and SBE Entertainment Group for nine distinct restaurant concepts in North America, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico. In March 2006, this relationship was expanded to include a 15-year design exclusive with Starck for five hotel properties under a new luxury hospitality brand to launch in early 2008.

"Commented SBE CEO Sam Nazarian, "I am incredibly proud and pleased to debut our first SBE property designed by Philippe Starck, and the pairing with a chef like Katsuya presents an incredible opportunity. We are very excited to make this restaurant an integral part of the Los Angeles community, and a timeless brand as we expand in the coming years."

Offering a provocative interpretation of both Japanese design and cuisine, Katsuya will stimulate the senses in every possible way - creating a dining experience like no other. Designed as a Japanese "Bento box" that echoes the simplicity and essence of Japanese cuisine, the all-wood interior will feature bold illuminated photographs and clever design touches at every turn, a signature of Starck's playful and limitless imagination. Chef Uechi's menu will boast a plethora of inventive sushi and Robata grilled dishes (prepared in the restaurant's central Robata Bar) that will be veritable works of art in themselves - complemented with an extensive list of premier sakes and exotic cocktails.

Katsuya will combine the service and quality of a fine dining restaurant with the casual vibe and lively energy of a neighborhood hotspot. While fairly intimate in size, accommodating up to 170, the restaurant will feature a variety of dining experiences - from two levels of dining (with tables as well as several cozy booths), outdoor terrace seating, a sushi bar, Robata Bar and a separate lounge. The Robata Bar, anchored in the center of the restaurant, is named for the traditional small-fire grilling popular in northern Japan. Considered by Starck as a veritable "temple" to the art of Japanese cuisine, the Robata Bar symbolizes the importance and celebration of the meal preparation process -- truly theater in itself.

While modern in tone, the restaurant will feature several dramatic nods to the timeless simplicity of Japanese design. Giant granite boulders, etched with the Japanese character, or kanji for "Katsuya," are topped with flames to flank the restaurant's all-glass exterior fagade and teak terrace, and also will be used as vessels throughout the dining room to hold chilled sake, like oversized ice buckets. Four large red Noren curtains will surround the Robata Bar and a large ceremonial Shiminawa rope will hang over the Sushi Bar.

The restaurant's wooden interiors will be punctuated with oversized, glowing, beau