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New restaurant: Kimukatsu


It's just pork katsu. But what a to-do about it! At just-opened Kimukatsu, a Japanese chain, the server  first explains the 25 thinly sliced layers of pork that are deep-fried in a low and slow process (a slow-fry at relatively low heat). Then, he goes into the rice. Rice that's steamed to order, so expect it to take about 10 to 15 minutes (which, to me, seems crazy fast to properly steam rice from start to finish).

The result for the katsu: a coating that's perfectly crispy and the interior juicy and intensely porky.Try the original to taste the full flavor, or try the black pepper katsu, with a heavy coat of pepper for bite. The tonkatsu sauce is perfectly good, but consider splurging (a dollar!) for the garlic butter special sauce.

And the rice? Excellent, but not better than at other high-end Japanese restaurants. ($19 for a katsu set that includes cabbage salad, rice, miso soup and pickles certainly elevates the humble katsu to the high-end realm).

Is it better than the other gourmet katsu eatery, Ginza Bairin? I'd say the katsu cutlet ties, but the katsu sandwich at Ginza still wins, hands-down. At Kimukatsu, the katsu sandwich is between two thick layers of bread and the ratio seems all wrong.

At both, the bottomless finely-shredded cabbage salad, dressed with the house vinaigrette, is the best thing to have ever happened to cabbage.

Inside the Aston Waikiki Joy Hotel, 320 Lewers St., 922-1129, kimukatsu.com

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