A coworker recommended Sapporo Ramen & Shabu-Shabu, particularly the spicy kimchi flavored broth base. (You choose a base for your shabu-shabu.) I chose that with the seafood selection: mussels, scallops, salmon, shrimp, and more. I loved the flavor and the experience. I went for lunch on a workday, and the timing was great. It's not super cheap, but this is not some pseudo-chinese fast food. Also you might re-think shabu-shabu for a date with someone you don't know well. It's a lot of fun having the broth and ingredients cook right at your table: dramatic, fresh, dynamic. If you like to participate in the final prep of your meal, shabu-shabu is a great choice, and this is a good place to go. Side note on shabu-shabu in general: if you're like me, shabu-shabu is not the most tidy style of food. Because you scoop (or chopstick) the food into the broth and then onto your plate, there are lots of changes for tiny splatters or drips. Don't go wearing a precious silk tie or dress, and don't go here for a first date.
This place is a refreshing change from my "Brand Blvd" lunches. I had the Beef, Chicken, Shrimp skewer special and a bottle of water for under $10. The dishes come with white rice (brown is $.75 extra), salad, and a small sampling of tempura. My order, came with a heaping amount of food, 3 skewers jammed with hearty portions of meat. The quaint, but accommodating dining experience featured two flat screen TVs one with the CNN news (minor ugh, i am not a big CNN fan, but undestand that CNN is good for this type of viewing), the other TV had the local eatery, quick facts stream. Clean, efficient and friendly. The lady working the front of the house was certain to give a seemingly sincere "thank you" and "come again" to everyone. (that in itself helped me push my rate to Exceptional).
I love Katsuya and have been to their other locations in Hollywood, Brentwood and LA Live and this was my first time at the Glendale location. The food was amazing as usual, but what I really liked was the outdoor seating. The upstairs patio really made a great lunch experience after shopping at the mall. I also really liked this place because it was less crowded than the other locations and the atmosphere felt much more casual. It was a nice mix up but with the same great menu. Also the staff was extremely friendly and fun. This is a must stop for me next time I'm in Glendale!