Your First Look at Kimukatsu’s Layers of Pork

What is it about layers that makes people go insane? Some pastry guy in New York layers croissant dough and deep fries it, and the country goes bonkers. Idiots, I say! They’re losers, right? Why would anybody wait in line for that? And yet… when I heard about Kimukatsu, a famous Japanese pork cutlet chain opening its first two locations in Los Angeles, I had a cronut moment of my own. Maybe it wasn’t as twee as what Dominique Ansel has wreaked, but it was a moment nonetheless. And why was I so excited for the news of this chain? What makes this breaded and deep fried pork cutlet more excited than the excellent pork cutlets you can get at Hurry Curry of Tokyo, Wako Donkasu, or Myeongdong?  Layers.  It’s all about the layers.

I had first heard of Kimukatsu on Eater, who posted that this Japanese chain (with one location in Hawaii) would be opening on Sawtelle and serving up their special brand of tonkatsu made from 25 layers of pork slices that are then breaded and deep fried.  The Sawtelle location hasn’t opened yet, but their second location (in the new Culver Crossroads on Culver and Washington) opened last week and like a Sex in the City fan hearing about Magnolia bakery for the first time, I rushed out to get me some layers of pork.

Just like cronuts, it turns out that layers of pork aren’t so cheap either!  There are four different flavors of katsu, as well as four special preparations involving different sauces and toppings.

Thankfully, they do have lunch specials that are under $19, although you can’t order special flavors if you go that route.  Since it was my first time, I decided to go with the plain kimukatsu lunch special.

For $13 you get a modest pice of katsu, plus rice, cabbage, and a few pickles, plus a bowl of miso soup which they’ll refill for you as many times as you want. On the table they provide salt, a vinaigrette for the cabbage, plus a typical katsu sauce, and a ponzu flavored soy sauce for dipping.   And now… the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  Are you ready for some layers!?

BOOM.  Apparently, the cheaper lunch set comes with a cutlet that is slightly thinner than the original so if you want the full 25 layers you’ve got to shell out the big bucks.  As for the taste… well it’s layers.  How could it be bad!?  It’s weird because each individual strip of pork is so thin it ends up being a bit dry on its own, but as a  whole it makes for a very tender tonkatsu, especially when compared with some of the cheaper lunchtime versions available around the city.  You’ve gotta love science!

Obviously it’s a bummer that there’s no cheap way to try all the crazy flavored katsu for lunch, but the dinner menu is totally different and they have all sorts of awesome combos that are meant to be shared my multiple people. So as much as it pains me to admit this, if you can drum up a few friends, dinner is probably the way to go.  But according to this, the menu is still a work in progress so I’ll hold out hope that some cheaper (and more fun) lunch options are on the way!  And if that fails, I’ll just hope it becomes popular enough to inspire some cheaper knock-offs.

Kimukatsu (2 Locations)

  • 4130 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City. 310-876-1436 (Open Now)
  • 2121 Sawtelle Blvd, West L.A. 310-477-1129 (Opening in 2-3 weeks)



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