Japanese Food Guide: Best Tonkatsu in Honolulu

On newsstands right now: The Ultimate Guide to Japanese Food. We rounded up our favorite ramen, izakaya, sushi and tons more. For this guide, we enjoyed exploring Honolulu's unique landscape of Japanese food—from the local-flavored, sweet shoyu Japanese okazuyas that have been around for decades, to the newer, straight-from-Japan specialized imports dishing out udon, yakitori, okonomiyaki and tonkatsu.  

But we couldn't fit everything into the print magazine. One roundup that didn't make it: our favorite tonkatsu places in Honolulu, all of which are Japanese chains:

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin
The lowly pork cutlet rises to fine-dining status, with the kurobuta pork loin katsu—a favorite of Food Network’s blade-wielding Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto—going for $36. Even the $10 tonkatsu sandwich boasts perfectionist details: light, fried juicy pork between white bread with the crusts cut off, with a bit of plummy sauce.
255 Beach Walk, 926-8082

You'll find no other katsu like this: twenty-five (!) layers of paper-thin pork dredged in crispy panko and cooked low and slow for eight minutes, sealing in the juices.
Aston Waikiki Joy Hotel, 320 Lewers St., 922-1129

Ringer Hut
Ringer Hut, which feels like the Denny's of Japanese food, has a hidden gem: its tonkatsu. At lunch, it’s one of the best deals in town at $8.95.
Waikiki Trade Center, 2255 Kuhio Ave., 924-8366

Read about our favorite izakaya, mochi and more: Pick up a copy on newsstands or download a digital edition now.