There’s no shortage of good sushi in Denver proper, so what would motivate someone to drive to the suburbs for fresh fish? A menu of all-you-can-eat sushi for less than 25 bucks all day, every day — that’s what. Sushi Katsu, at 2222 South Havana Street in Aurora (with a second at 9555 East Arapahoe Road in the Denver Tech Center and Katsu Ramen just up the street), is a diamond in the rough. Despite its strip-mall location, the interior is chicer than most holes-in-the-wall and feels distinctly Japanese, even without the standard tchotchkes, just with simple, warm, minimalist wood styling.
If you think this sounds like the perfect cheap date-night locale, think again. Katsu is loud, chaotic and frenzied, with servers rushing around to deliver the goods and a whopping six sushi chefs meticulously working the production line, barely looking up from churning out plates at a rate so fast you worry for their fingers. Bring a big group so you can sample a wider range of rolls; while you won't be able to hear your dining mates, you’ll be so busy stuffing your face it won't matter.
Despite the crowds, we were able to walk right in on a Friday night at 6:45 p.m. and grab a seat at the bar to witness the madness. We got there right in time, as happy hour (served Monday through Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m.) also boasts two-for-one beers, wine and hot sake.
Almost two pages of specialty rolls are included in the price, from complex baked rolls like lobster and sushi pizzas to tempura-fried monstrosities. Beyond the rolls, the unlimited nigiri is high-quality and diverse, from standard pieces to peppered fish and “volcano” style bites mixed with spicy mayo and all the fixings. If you’re not a sushi fan, you’ll still find plenty to eat between the full-sized shrimp udon bowl, barbecue ribs, teriyaki plates, curry, fried rice, salads and miscellaneous cooked apps. Unlike at some all-you-can-eat joints, there are very few catches and limitations, giving you free rein over the massive menu of more than fifty rolls.
Pace yourself, because it is easy to over-order. And anything not consumed will be charged at full price to avoid waste.
Verdict: Aurora residents are lucky to have this place nearby. While I needed to be rolled out of there and was rendered completely useless the rest of the day, Sushi Katsu is a heck of a deal. With prices of just $24.95 for dinner and $14.95 for lunch, there really isn't a better, cheaper, more delicious sushi spot in town.