Wacko for Wako


Tonkatsu: (1) Deep fried panko encrusted pork cutlet often served with a dipping sauce (exact ingredients are unknown but is probably a combination of ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, vinegar, and sugar).

It’s crispy. It’s light. It’s flaky. And when you bite into a one well made, it’s MOIST. Other than downing bottles of the Korean herbal energy drink Bacchus in front of the tv, I can’t think of anything else that harks back fonder memories of childhood. My mom would go to the Korean market, buy as much pork fillets that were on sale and freeze enough breaded fillets ready to fry to last us an entire school year. Tonkasu Monday-Friday. Ramen Saturday-Sunday. Vegetables slowly made their way into the diet in the late tweens.

Wako is a popular destination for tonkatsu lovers as their menu literally is made up of the following:

Fried Pork

Fried Chicken

Fried Cheese

Fried Shrimp

Fried beef

Fried potatoes

And the occasional bowl of rice

As you wait for your meal, the waiter will bring you a small pestel and morter filled with toasted sesame seeds. Koreans have this thing where they like to make you work for your food. Once you grind the sesame seeds, the waiter will come back and fill it with the sweet tonkatsu dipping sauce. The toasted sesame seeds give it nice texture and homemade feel to an otherwise bottled sauce bought off a market shelf.

tonkatsu dipping sauce

The katsu (short for “cutlet” in Japanese) is the main component of any of their combo meals. It comes freshly fried and sizzling hot, pre-cut into slender slices on a metal rack. The basic combo comes with a side of shredded cabbage topped off with a bit of miso-like dressing. Like all Korean restaurants, the combo is served with smaller sides. In this case, radish kimchi (a Korean side dish also known as kak-du-gi) and jalapeños steeped in a soy sauce like marinade. They all work to give you the perfect bite each time. You bite down on the daringly crispy piece of moist pork that you so generously doused into the sweet caramel like sauce. Just when your taste buds think they’ve hit the high point of all taste registries with this salty sweet concoction, BAM! You throw in Mr. Jalapeno ready to, excuse my language, “kick it up a notch.” If that’s not enough for you or like the Asian you are, are having carb withdrawals from the lack of rice present, you can order a larger combo that includes a bowl of udon soup or soba noodles.


If you’ve never had tonkatsu or you’re craving some GOOD tonkatsu, then head over to Wako on the corner of Wilshire and Alexandria Ave. It’s in the corner of a large Korean plaza. You can even work off all the calories you just ate by going over to the arcade next door and playing some.. you know it. Dance Dance Revolution.


3377 Wilshire Blvd # B
Los Angeles, CA 90010


Price: Under $10


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