Guydon (Japanese Beef Bowl) and Dashi

SoCal has a bunch of Yoshinoya-brand fast food places that serve Gyudon (one or two in NYC?) but otherwise the USA is a wasteland for this dish. I got hooked on it many years ago, but rarely visit SoCal and I've not had great luck making it at home. (The textures are fine, but the flavor is not.) The rice, beef, onion components are no-brainers, but the umami-toting Dashi escapes me. Any suggestions for specific brands of powdered or liquid Dashi that will work - or reasonable substitutes? I note many more recipes for Gyudon on the web in recent years, some with no mention of Dashi. Is this reasonable? What are the flavor keys to this fun dish? All ideas are most welcome and thank you. -GC


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