Los Angeles, CA

Champion’s Curry, Where Every Plate is a Winner

J.M. Lesinski

The chicken katsu curry rice plate at Champion's Curry in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

When it comes to the pursuit of perfection in any one delicacy, nailing the formula for the perfect sauce is by and large one of the most important factors. At Champion’s Curry in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California, the notion of the perfect curry is alive and well and complemented daily by some of the best katsu and sandwiches in the neighborhood.

Curry is the item of feature throughout the menu as the restaurant’s name may imply, present in every dish, save for the salads. Available in original or spicy, the make-up and texture is similar between the two, a golden tinted savory blend of hot and hearty. The spicy is incredibly spicy, even for those used to heat, and lingers on the tongue long after – so be forewarned if going the spicy route.

When it comes to the curry rice plates at Champion’s Curry, any of the katsu are a must-try for both experienced curry-lovers or diners new to the cuisine in general. Katsu patties always come panko breaded at Champion’s, superbly crispy and juicy, and covering the majority of the plate. The sheer size of the protein over the curry is mouth-watering, yet when mixed with the delicious concoction itself, the savory and spice together is a match made in heaven.

The chicken katsu comes with a panko breaded chicken thigh, tomato rakkyo salsa, chives, and a sour cream sauce alongside the staple white rice and curry. The crunch of the panko crust on top of the savory hot chicken creates an incredible harmony of the flavors, well before the heat from the curry and wetter bottom portion of the chicken can melt in one’s mouth.

The front counter at Champion's Curry in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

The pork katsu is similarly prepared, featuring a panko breaded pork loin alongside the tomato rakkyo salsa, chives, and sour cream sauce. The peppery elements really seem to come out more in the pork katsu, paving the way for a unique harmony between the curry and pork, which blossoms into an umami flavor combo from heaven.

The beef katsu again follows suite, featuring minced beef with all the same accoutrements as the chicken and pork. The beef flavor balances out well with that of the panko breading, allowing for the crunch experience in each bite, and not too much time devoted to just chewing.

For those more accustomed to the chewy texture of a burger, the wagyu hamburger curry rice is the way to go, featuring an American wagyu hamburger steak patty over curry and rice with a tomato rakkyo salsa and chives accompaniment. Though the most expensive item on the menu at fifteen dollars and fifty cents, which is still an incredible price for any Los Angeles restaurant, the wagyu hamburger is certainly one of a kind.

Rounding out the katsu curry rice is the fish katsu, which features all the same dressings as the chicken, pork, and beef. The golden fried goodness of the fish really lets the heat of the curry take over, as it does with the grilled veggies curry rice, Champion’s Curry’s vegetarian curry rice option.

The wall mural and self-ordering kiosk at Champion's Curry in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

Another vessel to sample the curry with is the curry dip sandwiches, which feature the same panko-breaded protein offerings of chicken, pork, beef, or fish on brioche with a bowl of curry for dipping. Each sandwich comes with gem lettuce, cucumber, tomato rakkyo salsa, sour cream sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and chives, and for a dollar more, it can become a combo with choice of small salad, small fries, or small drink.

Salads and sides go hand in hand in their portion of the menu. The Caesar salad features gem lettuce, croutons, avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a sesame dressing, while the Spring salad features chives, spring mix greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and Aojiso ginger garlic sauce. The egg macaroni salad and regular fries are good enough on their own, but the cheese curry fries are a must-try if only once for the sheer cacophony of flavor within.

Though listed as sides, the last two items in that section are definitely enough on their own for the spendthrift consumer out there. The first, the Wagyu Hamburg Gratin, is a baked square of melty cheese and curry goodness, featuring the same American wagyu hamburger steal as the curry rice plate, macaroni, curry sauce, mozzarella cheese, and chives.

The second, the Katsu Bite, is a bit of a salad katsu plate hybrid, only offering choice of chicken, beef, or pork katsu over a small Caesar salad, egg macaroni salad, and tonkatsu sauce, but for half the price of any curry rice plate. No matter the size of the katsu, one can be assured that the crunch of the panko will be there, and the plate on whole will be a winner every time.

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program.

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Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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