At the crossroads of gourmet food, Japanese pop culture, and Georgetown grittiness, lies Hajime Sato's Katsu Burger. Sato has turned a 180 from his sustainable sushi practice at West Seattle's Mashiko, and is serving deep-fried burgers from a strip mall in Georgetown. On any given Monday night there's no better way to attack the week than with the indomitable Godzilla Attack Burger on the menu there, except perhaps by supplementing it with some nori fries and a kinako shake. Regardless of side dishes, it's a burger with strength, size, and a little of Godzilla's fiery touch.
The menu at Katsu Burger is riddled with gluttonous options, ranging from adding a fried egg to your fried burger patty to adding a fried patty to your stack of fried patties. Located on a Georgetown corner where there are still plenty of reminders of the neighborhood's industrial roots, it's fitting that there are few 'lighter' side options here (save for the minuscule, but worthwhile, side order of wasabi coleslaw). But you don't come to Katsu Burger to save on calories. You come to bulk up to Godzilla size, and you do that with the beef patty that has been panko breaded and deep-fried to a texture and flavor more like medium rare than extra crispy.
As befits a burger named for a demon of destruction, the monstrous patty survives its bath in boiling oil. On the bun, it receives a smothering in a variety of umami-laced sauces (traditional tonkatsu, spicy Japanese mayonnaise), yet the deep-fried, panko crunch on the outside remains in tact as a strong foil to the tender beef within. On the Godzilla Attack Burger, that promise of fire-breathing powers comes in the form of jalapeños layered under the burger.
Despite the threatening name, and beneath the bold flavors, there is a serene balance. The calming touch of a spectacular sushi chef turning his talents to glorified fast food. There are few things more comforting and satisfying than a terrific burger, and while Katsu is not serving a traditional one, it is a spectacular one, as one might expect from an accomplished sushi chef like Sato.
Note: Be sure to plan your trip Katsu Burger on the early side, as it closes at 7:30pm.