If Bruce Lee Had Been a Restaurant

Tucked in a corner of a garden-variety strip mall, Kato looks like an unremarkable restaurant from the outside. A door with the name of the establishment in pink cursive—think the color of Pepto-Bismol—opens to a small space of less than 1,000 square feet and just twenty-seven seats. Perhaps fewer. Several steps to the back, directly behind the curtains, reveals an even tinier kitchen with just one refrigerator. Named after the 1960s television character played by the revered martial artist Bruce Lee in The Green Hornet, a restaurant with such physical limitations would seem to make a poor namesake. But misjudging Kato by its size would be a mistake. Despite its constraints, this west Los Angeles spot, helmed by the young and highly capable Chef Jon Yao, produces some of the best fine-dining cuisine in all of California.

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