A Japanese Katsu chain here in Sawtelle Japantown.
One of the techniques of the advanced Foodie, Food-eater (or Food Blogger in it’s lowest form) is to always have a backup.
Sad but true. Places close for whatever reason on whatever day. Most times it’s to save money on otherwise slow days. Sometimes the place is just…closed…as in for good.
The restaurant I wanted to go to this day is just closed for…well…reasons.
I got crowded out of going to the Getty. Going to Sawtelle Japantown seemed like a damn good idea as a Plan B.
I don’t know what happened. They’re not closed for good. They seem to be doing steam cleaning, inventory…whatever.
But why today?!?! WHY TODAY?!? WHY TODAY?!? The author cried as he shook his computer.
Okay. Never mind. We’ll get through it. We’ll soldier on. We’re food bloggers. Toughest of the tough. Right?
So now…here I am at the door of Kimukatsu.
Occasionally, these sudden shifts to “Plan C” result in happy, happy accidents. We’re going to see if Kimukatsu is one of them.
Yeah, Kimukatsu is going to be one of them.
Kimukatsu’s interior is very modern-looking and sleek. I’d put it a shade under hipster, which is a good thing. I don’t know why it is that Japanese austere is so much cooler than…well, everyone else’s austere, but it is. The inside is just a few bits of furniture, modern Japanese prints and a grey concrete color scheme.
But you didn’t come for the decor, you came for the pork, and pork is apparently something Kimukatsu long before they came to Sawtelle Japantown. Kimukatsu is apparently a chain, with locations in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, and Sendai. They even had a location in Culver City, but it has since closed it’s doors.
And did I mention Pork?
The secret to our popularity is the combination of a crispy, texture-rich batter surrounding a juicy flavorful 25-layered select pork cutlet. We select only the highest quality pork, which is sliced thin and stacked into 25 layers. This layered cutlet is covered with fresh breadcrumbs and fried slowly in low temperature for 8 minutes. It is then set vertically for two minutes to steam, allowing the heat to spread evenly inside. This is all a part of our original recipe and process, which helps to bring forth the maximum taste.
That was from the Kimukatsu website.
We’ll talk about the 25 layer pork in just a minute.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: We started off with a bowl of Cabbage Salad.
Yes, Cabbage Salad.
The server, probably thinking me a fellow Mexican-American, kindly instructed me to put some garlic soy dressing on it. Never one to turn away free food advice from a stranger, I did, and…gotta say the guy was right. This Cabbage salad looked dull and uninteresting at one point, turned tasty and delightful when I chomped into it.
The next thing to come in was the Agedashi Tofu, which was presented in a bowl with broth of Dashi and herbs. The Tofu wasn’t crispy as I have before, but that’s not a bad thing in this case. For a second, I though I could have had the thing for dessert. The Tofu was cased in a soft, sticky, sweet, shell. The broth had a slight sweetness to it as well. It was the most unusual variation on Agedashi Tofu I’ve ever had, and it wasn’t bad.
Finally, my order of the Katsudon (Egg Bowl) arrived. Had I known the Lunch portion was this generous, I might have laid off the Agedashi Tofu. I got a nice bowl of Miso Soup, and of course the Egg Bowl, topped off with the famous Kimukatsu 25-layer select Pork Cutlet. I ordered the 25 layer Cutlet on a whim, and my Waiter smiled when I did. He knew, as I came to know, that this Pork was something they specialized in. And it was a tasty bit of Pork, a porktastic explosion of all variant flavors and textures from the “five layers of heaven”. Whatever Kimukatsu does…they should keep doing.
I ripped through the Pork first thing, because…well…I couldn’t stop. Underneath that was a shell of rice, sauce and Smelt Egg. Again, like the Agedashi Tofu, it’s a dish that carries with it a slight sweetness. On it’s own, the dish is fine, but coupled with sweetness of the Tofu, it can be a bit much. Fortunately, the Cabbage Salad and the Miso Soup can break up that taste more than a bit.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Nothing too odd to report. No surprises here.
PARKING: Kimukatsu, like it’s neighbor Tatsu Ramen, is location in a small strip mall with…what seems at first to be a plentiful barrage of parking, but…truth be told, the place is constantly busy with many other fine restaurants to take advantage of. The best…and truth be told, only thing to do is use their Valet service, which operates for all the establishments in that strip mall. The Service is free, and relies on Tips for the Drivers. Make sure you tip them well.
2121 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angels, CA 90025
Tel: (310) 477-1129
Monday-Thursday: 11:30am-3:00pm / 5:00pm-11:00pm
Friday: 11:30am-3:00pm / 5:00pm-12:00am