Monday, May 24, 2010

In Pursuit of Katsu

So, a few weeks back, I put out messages asking for suggestions for authentic katsu (Japanese fried pork cutlet) in the DC Metro area. I quickly heard from Metrocurean's Amanda about Sushi Taro's katsu don, and then randomly from my aunt in Wisconsin about Temari Cafe.
This past week, the quest was put into action. Wednesday, it was Dupont's Sushi Taro for lunch with my workmate and friend M. I'd never been, before or after the restructuring. Hungry as I was, I started with the rainbow roll, and then moved on the katsu don. The rainbow roll was bliss - enough alone to make me want to return for omakase. The katsu, well, not so much. Don't get me wrong, the flavors were perfect, and the poached egg and onion I devoured. The pork, however, was not up to the rest of the dish. The cut was fatty, and included tendon. It was so chewy; I left most of it on the plate. That, and the breading was not crispy.

On Sunday afternoon, I dragged C and baby out to the upper end of Rockville Pike for Temari's katsu curry (they have katsu don as well). We walked in the door, and I knew my aunt had hit the mark when I'd asked for a DC version of the little holes-in-the-wall that make up the outdoor pedestrian mall of LA's Little Tokyo. Comic books, random menu listings all over the walls, and Japanese game shows on the television. It was perfect. So was the katsu. Served on a palatial platter with pickled radish, I'm still thinking about how I savored every bite. The pork cutlet, crispy with panko, lean and tender, and flavorful, was everything that Sushi Taro's was not. The curry was flavorful and rich. Perfect. If you are looking for authentic katsu, or other Japanese dishes (ramen, udon, sashimi), I highly recommend Temari Cafe's offerings. I'll be back again soon.


Carrie said...

Yum. After you guys talking about Sushi Taro at GNO, I totally wanted to go! But I might have to make this place in Rockville my first stop...

Angela said...

I LOVE katsu. Good to know that Sushi Taro's is a no go, just because if Mark and I ever go, he'd probably order it. Might have to make the trip to Sushi Taro alone.