Katsuhama Lunch

We took our colleague David out for lunch yesterday cause he’s jumping ship. Sad for us he’s leaving, but happy cause we used it as an excuse to make a little excursion to Katsuhama. You see, I work all the way on 1st avenue in midtown, which means that it has to be a pretty special occasion to go all the way to 5th Avenue (crossing 2nd, 3rd Aves, then Lex, Park and Madison- whew!).

Katsuhama is a little non-descript looking restaurant that looks like a Japanese take-out bento place from the outside. But don’t be fooled! Keep walking past all the people waiting in line for sushi packs (no tuna please!- sarcastic face here), and you will find yourself in a little wonderland of yellow walls and cute hanging paper lights. They specialize in tonkatsu, which is deep fried pork loin- Japan’s ultimate comfort food, and I would probably say that it’s the best in town (not very many places in NY serve tonkatsu).

They give you a little Japanese version of a mortar and pestle, that is used specifically for grinding sesame seeds– it’s a fun and campy way to wait for your fatty meat lunch to arrive. Here’s a demonstration:

Ryo told us that in Japan, to “goma suri” or grind sesame seeds, is to bullshit someone. We pondered that for a minute.

Our food came out super quick– let the meat fest begin! I got the menchi-katsu, which is basically a deep fried beef/pork/onion hamburger. Yum.

Everyone else got the tonkatsu. We all shared.

Mix their special sauce into the sesame seeds, and dip away! I like mine with a lethal dose of that yellow mustard. The cabbage is a must have with tonkatsu, as it eases the fattiness from all that deep fried meat you’re consuming. The waitstaff even walks around a plate of cabbage and tongs to serve you more! So cute!

After Bittman’s preaching about cutting down on meat intake I actually felt kinda bad after this meal. But not that bad. I save tonkatsu for special occasions, and it helped eased the pain that David’s deserting us.

11 E 47th St (btwn 5th and Madison)
New York, NY 10017
(212) 758-5909
Lunch: $15-20
*Expect to wait at least 5 minutes to be seated.

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