Kagura, long considered the best practitioner of the art of tonkatsu-frying, has opened a fourth location, this time inside Gardena’s Tokyo Central Market on the corner of Artesia and Western Avenue. Opened two weeks ago with quick service and truncated menu, this fry shop prices their tonkatsu set starting around $11, with options for loin, fillet, or “mille” (layered). Other dishes include a katsudon with scrambled egg over rice, chicken katsu, and a rice demi sauce poured over the crispy panko-crusted meat cutlets.
And since it’s all the rage among the hip dining set, Kagura has its own katsu sando with only a pork option priced at $8.75 placed in a cute little box and cut into thirds. Though Kagura has three other locations, one in Old Torrance, Downtown LA, and another in El Segundo, this casual food stall at one of the South Bay’s busiest Japanese markets seems like a smart move. Prices are low, portions are generous, and the quality is high. Plus the katsu sando, which uses the layered “mille” filling instead of a solid cutlet, is pretty great for under $9.
Though the katsu sando keeps appearing on menus across LA, Kagura has been preparing proper tonkatsu sets at its original Torrance spot for years, while sister restaurant T.O.T. has been cooking a similar fried pork cutlet array in Little Tokyo since at least the mid 2000s. Tonkatsu (not to be confused with tonkotsu, which is the dense pork broth style in ramen) might be having its day in the sun, but Kagura has been doing this since well before Konbi landed the top spot on a national best restaurant list. This new Gardena stall is open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.
Kagura Gardena. 1740 Artesia Boulevard, Gardena, CA.