A new twist on Asian Cuisine


Photo courtesy of Timothy Ro

Kobe Gyukatsu is a new restaurant that serves self-grilled pork and beef cutlets.

Kobe Gyukatsu, a new restaurant located in Rowland Heights, captures the essence of both Japanese and Korean cuisine, specializing in beef and pork cutlets with a twist: these dishes are self-grilled by the customers. 

There is an option to either get the meat, whether it is beef or pork,  raw or cooked. The raw meat costs more because of the unique experience and personal stovetop that comes with it. 

The first thing I noticed was the comfortable atmosphere of the restaurant. The hanging lights added a very cozy feel to the interior’s environment, while the energetic music improved the lively ambience. 

The menu offered many choices, but  I was disappointed with the lack of beverages, since they only served Calpico and a few other soft drinks. We ordered the pork cutlet with udon ($16.95), buckwheat soba noodles ($9.95), beef cutlet combo ($21.95) and two Calpicos ($2). 

I expected to wait a while for all the food to come out, since the restaurant was quite busy, but my party only had to wait for around 15 minutes before our meal arrived. 

First, our personal stovetop came, which was much smaller than I expected. Then, the raw beef arrived shortly after in two large rows with a bowl of rice, miso soup, salad, pickles, radish and three different types of sauce, one of them being the famous katsu sauce. 

The personal stovetop acts like a regular grill, where you place the meat on the grill and watch it cook. Despite its size, the stovetop can still fit around four pieces of meat at a time and cook the meat quickly just the way you want it. The meat itself had a crunchy exterior with a juicy interior. The meat was so tender that it melted in my mouth like butter. 

Similarly, the pork cutlet came with its own katsu sauce, salad and a small portion of pickles, radish and corn. The dish had a nicely fried, crispy exterior. The meat itself was on the chewier side, but it was cooked perfectly. On the downside, the pork was a bit salty, but the flavor was saved by the sweet and tangy katsu sauce that complimented the dish. The salad was noticeably fresh and crisp, served with a dressing that was excellent.  

The bowl of udon, that came with the pork cutlet combo, had many traditional ingredients: green onions, fish cake and tempura shrimp. Although I am not usually a big fan of udon, this dish was a clear exception as the noodles had a perfectly chewy consistency.

On the other hand, the buckwheat soba noodles were disappointing. The portion of buckwheat soba noodles was reasonable for its price; however, the small amount of sauce that came with the soba was not proportionate to the amount of noodles. Additionally, the noodles were room temperature, even though they are supposed to be served cold. The soba lacked balance in terms of its flavor, because its saltiness overpowered the entire dish.

Overall, I would say that my experience at Kobe Gyukatsu was a positive one. The service was above-par, as the waiters were extremely helpful and patient. Even though the restaurant is a little expensive, the high-quality food makes the price worthwhile. Kobe Kyukatsu exceeded my expectations and I would definitely return.