Is It Done Yet?

The kakuni pork belly ($11) at Kata Robata Sushi & Grill (3600 Kirby, 713-526-8858) is slow-braised for ten hours before being served, and it's as soft and tender as can be. Four cubes of pork are served on a rectangular platter, sitting on top of some spinach. The word "kakuni" means "square-simmered." Since the pieces are cut from the belly of the pig, they have layers of meat, fat and rind. Cooking broth lines the bottom of the plate and adds to the flavor, and on opposite corners of the plate are two dabs of a horseradish-mustard sauce, in case you need a spicy fix. Mini Japanese cress, two strips of chives and two of carrot decorate the tops of the pork.


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