Monday, April 15, 2024

New at the market: Katsu Sando

I manage the social media for the Farm Lovers Markets, so that puts me at their events every weekend. It’s always fun to see the new products and new vendors.

Katsu Sando crew
The crew at Katsu Sando in Kakaako.

While all of them are interesting, one of the newer vendors is noteworthy for the people that read this blog. Just a long story on why I’m posting about them now, which seems delayed: I was going to blog about them when they first opened, but they were actually going to go on vacation shortly after. So I was going to blog about them when they got back. But with the craziness of cancellations in travel, their vacation got shelved, and they’ll be at the market this week after all.

Mark Szczepanski (middle) with his Saturday morning helpers.

Mark Szczepanski lived in Las Vegas for 20 years, during which the last five owned a tonkatsu restaurant. One of the most popular items was a tonkatsu sandwich that he served at lunch. Now that he’s back in Honolulu, he wanted to continue serving that sandwich.

“There are a lot of katsu restaurants out there, but none that only serve tonkatsu sandwich,” Szczepanski said.

Tonkatsu sandwich, $10.

You can find his booth, Katsu Sando Tatsuya, at the Farm Lover’s market in Kakaako every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. His specialty, of course, is the tonkatsu sandwich ($10), which comprised of a thick slab of fresh pork cutlet breaded in nama panko (fresh panko that hasn’t been dried), drizzled with katsu sauce and placed on a bed of shredded cabbage.

Chicken Katsu sando, $9.

The chicken katsu sandwich, made with fresh chicken, is $9 and I’ve heard good things about it, but I am always way too full to try it. Maybe next time.

Egg salad sandwich, $5.

I love egg salad sandwiches, and they serve up a large Japanese-style sando with what must be an inch or so of filling in that very thick shokupan bread. It does take some maneuvering to bite!

All of the sandwiches are made fresh, with fresh ingredients — nothing is frozen. Some people feel the bread may be too thick, but hey … it’s fluffy. You can smash it down. Plus, I love that it’s crustless!

You can also get potato salad for $2. Szczepanski hopes to expand the menu offerings in the near future, and maybe expand to the other Farm Lover’s markets.

Katsu Sando Tatsuya
Kakaako Farm Lovers
1050 Ala Moana Blvd.
Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon

Disclosure: I manage the social media for Farm Lovers Markets but they did not ask me to do this blog, nor was I compensated in any way for this.

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