Wako Donkasu - Koreatown, Los Angeles, California
Located on the corner of Wilshire and Alexandria, this corner is definitely poppin! The plaza boasts a few popular establishments such as The Boiling Crab and the gastropub on the top floor, so parking on the basement level is pretty much impossible. I arrived to the general area around 7pm, so they had blocked the entrance to the lot.
Luckily, there's a valet lot right across the street in the same complex as Zion market. For $5, it's a steal and the lot is open until 12:30AM, so even with your keys safely in their possession, you won't have to worry about it closing early. That is always one of my worries about parking in LA haha.
With my mind resting at ease, we headed across the street to Wako Donkasu located right next to The Boiling Crab, which happens to draw in the largest crowd to the plaza for prime time dinner time. As my friend and I walked closer to the door, Wako was desolate. Not a single soul inside, but worth the silence to have a conversation without interruption.
Since all the tables were open, we were free to sit wherever. As we got settled, water mixed with tea was brought over. For food, we got an order of the Chicken Cutlet off the Favorites menu and a Pork Tenderloin & Black Tiger Shrimp combination under their Specials menu. Once the order was placed, they bring out a bowl of sesame seeds for you to crush to your preference before the katsu sauce is poured in
The pictures on the menu were deceiving because you get A LOT. The meals come complete with cabbage salad, a bowl of rice, miso soup and some pickled radish/jalapenos. The katsu is resting on a cooling tray so that it doesn't get soggy from the dressing on the cabbage. Crisp with a crunch you can hear for miles, the meat was tender and flavorful. The batter is a bit thick on the shrimp, but a great balance on the pork tenderloin.
Even though it was empty for the duration of our meal, the business seemed to thrive on delivery takeout or late night diners. What's even better is that the leftovers I had were surprisingly light, as in there was no heavy oil flavor or grease seeping out the day after. If you toss them in the oven to warm up, they crisp right up like the night before. Delicious and definitely more bang for your buck.
3377 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010