Kimukatsu, Ebisu キムカツ 恵比寿
Kimukatsu always has a line of people outside it, so usually I avoid it as lining up is not my thing. Except, I have noticed, recently - which I fear is another symptom of the GFC. Somewhat depressingly, all over Ebisu I am noticing the husks and empty shells of what were once viable dining establishments. As an entrepreneur myself, I know that every empty restaurant, shop and office has a story behind it and not a little bit of pain so my heart goes out to those places that didn't make it.
Out of the Darwinian shake-out though, certain establishments will survive and I am sure that Kimukatsu will be one of those. Their unique concept is tonkatsu done more ways than you ever thought possible eg garlic, miso, plum, black sesame, negi, cheese and, of course, plain. The meat itself is different to the classic tonkatsu, being made up of layers of pork like a millefeuille, crumbed and then deep fried and is quite delicious. All up it's about 2,100 yen per head for a set that includes as much cabbage as you can eat, rice, miso, pickles and of course the tonkatsu itself.
On my most recent visit I ordered it with a lovely sweet, dark miso sauce which was absolutely superb. Everything is yummy and the service is very pleasant indeed. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Kimukatsu for an informal lunch and, if you need to line up, I'd say it's well worth it.