Kagura is where it's at for Katsu (in LA at least)

Tonkatsu Butagumi Nishiazabu

(Beautiful BEAUTIFUL Tonkatsu @ Butagumi Nishiazabu Tokyo)

I have manym MANY obsessions. Many of those obsessesions admittedly Japanese in origin, like Japanese sodas, anime, chips, pastries but the one that potentially tops them all (anime is a hard one for me though to top LOL)- the Japanese fried pork cutlet also know as tonkatsu.

The few times I've been to Japan with my wife, I would devour tonkatsu sandwiches (aka katsu sando) EVERYWHERE I saw it: in the subway station, at convenient stores on the street, in department stores, grocery stores, office building headquarters for famous katsu sandos across from famous entertainment districts.

Niku no Mansei Katsu Sando Boxes

(Niku no Mansei cute Katsu Sando boxes in Akihabara Tokyo)

And these last trips to Japan I've discovered the kind of high end katsu dining like Butagami (pictured above), Maisen (which you can also get grocery store versions but they pale in comparison to the restaurants) and... oh yeah, we went to a single Michelin Star rated katsu place in Osaka which... of COURSE I cannot find the pictures for at this moment. LOL

You know I could find though, a picture of one of the extensive katsu menus like this one:

(Katsu-ONLY Butagumi Menu November 2015)

All this is not necessarily to build a case of why I am the best person to recommend ANY katsu as much as I am admittedly someone katsu obsessive. If anything, it's me recalling how good katsu can be after an admittedly very disappointing katsu experience in LA. I won't share it publicly because we used to be full-time restaurateurs and know the work that goes into running a place like this, but if you see me on the street "let's trade notes."

With all that said, I wanted to recommend one "family" of place I think does katsu right here in LA:

Kagura - ALL of them

(this pic is from Kagura's website, BUT on their website it has a cool steam effect that makes it mouth watering)

We most recently frequent the counter in Gardena in the Tokyo Central Market. I've ordered take out before while I was on-set for a yet to be aired TV thing I did from the El Segundo one. But my all time fave is their traditional sit down spot in Torrance because it has I think widest selection including loin, fillet, mille feuille (which is like the cakes as it's a multi-layered pork slices made into a cutlet!), cheese mille feuille.

There reason why I found Kagura in the past in the first place was because I just wanted to find a fattier cut of pork (while most katsu places have just a singular pork they use), and Kagura has that (I always forget if it's the loin or the fillet) and plenty more. You can also get it with their deliciously traditional katsu sauce, demi-glace or curry which I'm actually surprised I still haven't tried because in parallel - I'm also a curry obsessive! haha

But anyway, if you haven't tried them I think y'all should. If you have, I'd love to know if you even somewhat agree and if you have different suggestions - TELL ME! (I mean anything is better than my last katsu experience - I was so... sad because I love katsu so much!)

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