Things that are delicious to me... pork and things that are fried. Combine the two and you have an instant recipe for success, a formula for food that's pretty much impossible to fuck up. That food is pork katsu. When you add -don to that and put it over a giant bowl of soy sauce + sugar rice... well then you pretty much just made me the happiest Asian boy this side of the Pacific. Since my regular diet consists of basically ice cream, cheesesteaks, burgers, and Chinese food, I was pretty excited to grab some fat-laden fried pork at a local Japanese joint called 'Ajia.'
Little did I know that it was actually possible to screw up frying a piece of pork. First off, the lunch special is like $8. Now I realize to most people that's not exactly putting a hurt on the wallet, but I'm working the poor graduate student angle here (so visit, and make others visit, often!)... that's like 4 tacos from Don Memo. Know something? Their katsu don isn't 4 tacos good. In fact, it's not good at all. The cutlet comes out dripping in oil (in a bad way), the panko breadcrumbs are less than crunchy, and the pork is uninspiring and dry... despite an oil spill that could put BP to shame. How the hell do you screw up something SO EASY?
When you consider the issue of portion sizing (let's say they believe strongly in portion control), and the fact that they basically give you a bowl half-filled with onions... you end up with a giant (by which I mean medium sized) bowl of fail. Have I mentioned it was doused in oil? Because it was doused in oil.
California rolls as appetizers! I'm not really sure what to say about these aside from the fact that I probably shouldn't have eaten them (BUT THEY WERE FREE). With my slight seafood allergy in tow, I stupidly ate several pieces, not even for the sake of blogging... but for the sake of being a cheap Asian. Uh, these were pretty much wasted calories. I went home and scratched like an idiot, but with zero satisfaction. Usually when I go to dim sum and eat tons of seafood, I go home itchy as hell, but I'm usually okay with it because the food was fucking incredible. Not this time. I mean, they taste fine and all, but... let's just say... I am disappoint.
Japanese food has never made me so sad before.