American Katsu

Eastown eatery’s dish named one of the best in the country
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Hire Katsu Curry, Spam Masubi, and Tamago Sando, w/ Japanese Yuzu Fruit Soda. Photo by Teri Genovese.

Nestled at the vibrant intersection of Cherry and Diamond Street, KCM stands as a culinary gem, seamlessly blending the flavors of Korea and Japan with an American twist. This fusion restaurant not only caters to diverse tastes but also offers options for any time of day.

Chef/Owner Jason Kim holds Chicken Katsu and some side dishes. Photo by Teri Genovese.

From the delicate Tamago Inari, which consists of stuffed rice inside seasoned deep-fried tofu with tamago (egg) salad toppings, to the hearty fusion of egg and bacon in their Kimbap (a seaweed rice roll, reminiscent of sushi but without raw fish), each dish is a breath of fresh air for the Grand Rapids culinary scene. However, it’s the Hire Katsu Curry that truly steals the spotlight, revealing the culinary prowess that landed KCM on a New York Times list: “23 of the Best American Dishes of 2023.” If you’re not familiar, Katsu is a Japanese dish that consists of strips of meat, breaded and fried. Think schnitzel, but not pounded flat.

What makes KCM stand out is that the dishes are not only meticulously crafted but also prepared with the freshest ingredients and served with impressive speed, resulting in an unparalleled dining experience. While the food at KCM is nothing short of delectable, it’s fair to note that the dine-in atmosphere might not match the excellence found in the eatery’s dishes. The interior, clad entirely in echoing white, boasts seats that lean towards the less-than-comfortable side, and bright fluorescent lights, perhaps a stark contrast to the rich tapestry of flavors awaiting you.

For those seeking a perfect compromise, KCM emerges as a top contender for
a delightful takeout experience. The restaurant’s ambiance might not scream comfort, but the taste of their carefully crafted dishes speaks volumes. It beckons explorers of flavor to savor the unique blend of Korean, Japanese, and American influences. I wholeheartedly recommend KCM to anyone eager to tantalize their taste buds with something refreshingly new. And while descriptions of the food I described may seem foreign and exotic, the katsu
is a great choice for anyone who enjoys boneless, breaded fried meat.

You’ll be well served to do some research online beforehand. It’s a counter service establishment, so the staff are ready to take your order as soon as you get in the door.

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