Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wako Donkasu

Koreans love donkatsu (Japanese fried pork cutlet), and I am no exception. Most of the donkatsu I've eaten has been prepared by my mom and enjoyed in my parents' kitchen with rice, shredded cabbage and kimchi. But, out here in LA, I must fend for myself (yes, I can make it, but I loathe frying food in my apartment as the smell insists on lingering).

Enter Wako Donkasu, a tucked away spot in Koreatown, where the main attraction is their pork cutlet, but with various riffs offered as well, such as steak, curry and even cheese. I find it difficult to resist combination sets at Asian restaurants, so I ordered the udon and pork katsu duo ($12.95).

wako pork and udon combo

The pork was juicy, but the breading wasn't as crisp as I had hoped and even falling off a little on the bottom of a couple pieces. The dipping sauce was tonkatsu sauce and ground sesame seeds. (Note: after you order, the server brings sesame seeds for you to grind up with a mortar and pestle of sorts. I wasn't sure what to do really, so I asked my server about it when she dropped off my food and she did it for me.)

The dressing on the cabbage was like the slightly sweeter version of the carrot and ginger version found in Japanese restaurants here in the U.S. I liked that it was a departure from the blob of ketchup and mayo found in so many Korean restaurants.

wako udon

The udon broth was flavorful enough, but it lacked the special touch that makes addicts out of people who just came here for the katsu in the first place (I love when restaurants have that supporting cast dish or side that unexpectedly becomes habit-forming); the noodles were standard and did not stand out.

Wako Donkasu did not take the pork cutlet to new heights for me, but my meal was more than satisfactory. I'm willing to see if everything is a little better next time around.

Wako Donkasu
3377 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 112
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 381-9256

*Other location:
2904 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 387-9256


Dennis K. said...

Looks great! Love how the cabbage is shredded really fine too. I know what you mean about frying at home. The oil smell is a several day commitment! haha.

justJENN said...

This is my absolute fave place and I go there...A LOT. More often than I should...

Esi said...

I've always wanted to try donkatsu, but also hate frying in my apt said...

I have to admit.. I really like K-donkatsu, since it's 1 of the few dishes that Koreans knock-off well, and at a lower price range.

Back in Flushing, we had a donkatsu to-go places, where you can get a huge box of curry donkatsu for like.. $8.

Anywho, my secret "recipe", is topping tonkatsu with terriyaki sauce. Gross, I know. Don't judge.

Marie said...

Dennis: I can never get the cabbage that wispy thin at home, though I imagine a food processor could make it happen. And yep, that oil smell is the worst!

justJENN: Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I will most likely put Wako into my Ktown rotation; I have been in a slight rut these days.

Esi: Head on over to Ktown or Little Tokyo! I think you'll like it 'cause... what's there not to like about fried pork?

Sinosoul: I always think about getting curry katsu, but then convince myself it is a better in theory dish. Maybe next time. And I would never judge you! :)

catty said...

A more than satisfactory meal and your house doesn't smell like deep-fry. I think that's a win!

Gastronomer said...

I have a weakness for combos too. I'd like to meet an Asian who doesn't like a good caloric deal ;-)

Wako Dokasu ain't as good as your mama's, but it sounds like it will do in a pinch.

Marie said...

Catty: Win win! Especially not having to prepare nor clean up afterwards. :)

Marie said...

Gastronomer: Combos are just so darn appealing, although I can't remember the last time I was really impressed by one! And yes, I think Wako will work just fine in a serious craving situation.