Tag Archives: tonkatsu

March 25, 2010

25 Mar

9 am

1 bowl of Cocoa Pebbles

1:30 pm

Wako Donkasu

1 pork tonkatsu


I realize I eat a LOT of tonkatsu. In terms of bang for the buck, Wako’s is a good deal. $10 ($8 at lunch) gets you a pretty hefty piece of pork, a side of shredded cabbage that always comes with tonkatsu for some reason, miso soup, a little bit of turnip kimchee and pickled jalapenos, and a bowl of rice. That’s a lot of food for $10. They also give you a mortar and pestle to grind sesame seeds while you wait for your food. The waitress then pours a sweet katsu sauce in there. It’s about as compelling as drawing with crayons on paper placemats, and it does satisfy whatever primordial instincts you might have while waiting for deep-fried pork. I grinded the shit out of the sesame seeds, just because I could.

7:30 pm

2 Manwich sandwiches

side of cole slaw

handful of Tostitos tortilla chips

2 Black and Tans

In answer to the question on my beer glass, I watch the 11 pm or 1 am Sportscenter, usually.

My former roommate and current Irishman Barry came over to watch college basketball and to do our fantasy baseball draft. He brought Harps and Guinness to make Black and Tans. Because of him, I now expect every Irishman to carry Harps and Guinnes for Black and Tans at anytime, quaff them down with the townsfolk, then get into drunken fisticuffs by a river clear. They showed “The Quiet Man” a lot on TV when I was growing. I’m from Chicago and this is my general impression of the Irish.

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March 1, 2010

1 Mar

9 am

2 eggs, scrambled

11:30 am

Peet’s Coffee

1 small cafe latte

1 pm

Cha Cha Chicken

1 jerk chicken combo plate (1 chicken enchilada, 1 chicken tostada, 3 plantains)

1 bottle of Ting! soda

Cha Cha Chicken, the fast-casual off-shoot of Cha Cha Cha in Echo Park, is a swell place to spend a lunch hour on a sunny Los Angeles day. For one thing, it’s steps from the beach on the corner of Ocean Ave. and Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica. The entire dining area is an outdoor patio and every wall, counter, table and chair is green, yellow or orange, printed with a tropical motif and imitates a rough-hewn homemade shack one would find on a Caribbean vacation. The feel is calculated, but being a block from the Pacific Ocean makes it easy to go along with the facade. The food is pretty decent and fairly simple. Everything is made with either chicken breast or vegetables, and almost all of it comes covered with the same jerk sauce, a very citrus-y and surprisingly spicy concoction. The food is calibrated for a mass audience, but there’s still enough kick to get your attention. For some reason, I always drink a bottle of Ting!, a Jamaican grapefruit soda, with my meal here. It’s wildly overpriced at $3 and not that hard to find. But I just like the taste of grapefruit soda here. It fits with the decor.

7 pm

2 pieces of tonkatsu

side of rice

side of broccoli


As mentioned in a previous post, I love tonkatsu. I really can’t put my love into words that’ll justify the goodness of fried pork. In fact, you can say that it takes “More Than Words…”

9 pm

10 Nilla wafers

1 glass of milk

Jan. 10, 2010

10 Jan

11:30 am

2 piece chicken breast

side of rice

1 bottle of water

2 pm

1 orange

1 Asian pear

2 strawberry fig newtons

1 bottle of water

5 pm

1 apple

7 pm

2 piece tonkatsu

side of rice

side of kimchee

1 can of Diet Pepsi

I have a weakness for tonkatsu, or Japanese deep-fried pork cutlets. In fact, I have a weakness for any deep-fried cutlets. Schnitzel, chicken-fried steak, milanese, milanesa, katsu, the list is long as it is delicious. They’re all variations of the schnitzel and imported to other culture by good ol’ European expansionism, specifically from Germany and Austria (Or rather, Prussia and the Hapsburg’s Austria-Hungary). It’s fairly easy to see why so many different cultures embraced the schnitzel. It’s deep-fried meat!

The tonkatsu is a relatively new creation, whipped up by a Japanese chef who was trying to make a schnitzel for a visiting Austrian ambassador in the late 19th century. There’s now several katsu variations, with chicken being perhaps the most popular choice. They’re topped with either curry or tonkatsu sauce, which tastes like a mix of worcestershire sauce and apple juice. Katsu is popular in other Asian cultures and even Hawaii. For some reason, my mom was convinced that tonkatsu was Korean. When I told her that it’s Japanese, she refused to acknowledge that fact. Considering the historical tension between the two countries, damned if she acknowledges anything she likes as Japanese.

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