They make it at Maru on Burnet (near 45th). I've never had the authentic dish, but I really like the dish at Maru (has egg, onions, and sauce mentioned by others). It's fairly inexpensive. My husband and I used to go there fairly regularly and each get a Katsudon and then munch on a few sushi rolls after. Haven't been in about 6 months though.
1) On the menu (last year at least) @ Sushi Sake
Sushi Sake makes Katsudon with all the elements I expected - the egg, the onion, the special sauce, the pork cutlet.
Also suggest their
- Gomae appetizer (a spinach mound with sweet sesame seed)
- asparagus tips in a miso-soy butter sauce.
9503 Research Blvd # 500
Austin, TX 78759-6538
2) Possibly at RYU of Japan
While having lunch at their sushi bar, the chef said that he would make katsudon for me next time I went in. He said I was the first person to ask him about that. So suggest calling first before going to Ryu intent on ordering katsudon.
RYU of Japan
Kramer and Burnet
lunch till 3pm, dinner 5:30-10pm
I had katsudon twice in the past week in San Francisco, latest being yesterday in the San Francisco airport terminal B.
Hey rudeboy, Hmmm. Not sure. I never heard Katsudon called "pork cutlet set" when I lived in Tokyo, but that was far enough into the 'suburbs' that English signs weren't always available. Though English was never needed for food thanks to the wax displays.
From Googling, the "set" word seems to imply a "combo meal" generally, but not Katsudon specifically. So on a given day, perhaps "pork cutlet set" could mean Katsudon, or it could mean simply a fried pork cutlet on rice with other appetizer-type accompaniments, but not including the critical elements that make for a euphoric Katsudon.
The picture closest to the Katsudon I remember and crave is this one:
- the pork cutlet, probably fried with panko flakes.
- the egg properly 'spread out' and sauced, but NOT scrambled or fried in appearance; how do they do that...
- scallions on top
- sweet-tasting white onions mixed in
- the secret sauce ... It's a great day when a spare teaspoon of the sauce ends out in the bottom of the bowl and drenches the final bite of rice. But it seems like there's not supposed to be too much extra.
The picture also shows cabbage with sesame in the corner which I'm not used to seeing. That could be authentic, or maybe it was too hard to resist gilding the lily.
I don't know if I've had Katsudon in my Japan travels (some parts - too much sake), but that pic doesn't look like the "pork cutlet set" that I remember. What I remember is more like you described from the search: something like a broth, with noodles and assorted vegetables, and sliced (non breded/fried) roasted pork loin-type pieces of meat. Other items on the side. Maybe even a drink. It was good, not ethereal.
I like your comment about the sauce....my take on sauce is that it should always leave you wanting more: a little disatisfied that there wasn't more. But you got it by accident. As a kid, I remember getting taco flavored doritos (that was before cool ranch when there were only three flavors). Every great once-in-a-while, you'd get a big glob of the taco seasoning and hotbox it. That was definitley guilding the lily! Damn quality control - that never happens anymore.
The wax displays are, or were (12 years ago), amazing. I wish we had them here.
Did you ever happen to go to a tableside tempura restaurant? Not sure if they are common, but I had a great date at such a place on the way to the Kabuki Theatre. Wait, dont' answer, I just hijacking this thread away from Katsudon!