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).
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.
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.
3377 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
2904 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006