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Aug 6, 2007 11:44 AM

Phoenix - Okonomiyaki/Katsu Curry

These are two things I've been dying for every since I went to Japan. Okonomiyaki can be roughly described as the 'Japanese Pizza', and Katsu Curry is a fried Pork cutlet with a dark brown Japanese curry sauce.

There is a place called 'Curry House' opening in Chandler at Warner and Dobson sometime soon, but I'm not sure what region they will be catering to. It doesn't seem like Phoenix is quite the center of Japanese cuisine, but still I was hoping the hive mind of Chowhound might know of some out of the way place I've missed as of this point.

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  1. Curry House???? Can't be the Coco Ichibanya Curry House chain (which I think is an extension of a Japanese chain) that I used to frequent all the time when I lived on Oahu? That would be too cool. I loved the pork katsu curry there. For me, it was like my favorite, favorite fast food option. I think there is another Curry House operation out of CA as well but who knows if it's linked to any of them. No quick Google hits yet. Nonetheless, I'm excited!

    1. Warner and Dobson...is Shimogamo still there?

      6 Replies
      1. re: azhotdish

        It's next to Shimogamo, I remember some Polish or Eastern European restaurant used to be there.

        Looks like there isn't a Japanese place in the valley that isn't just Sushi or Hibatchi.

        1. re: ookii

          hi ookii,

          i like katsu as well. its a fairly common menu item at japanese eateries. have you tried the chicken katsu?. im not an expert by any stretch, but i do love the flavors. heck, anything battered and fried with an egg on it can't be all bad ;)

          i've had it at sakana, cherry blossom noodle cafe, hansu. i believe its on the menu at hana, but i haven't tried it.

          in a pinch there's always yoshis, tokyo express, and the like. note i said in a pinch ;)

          Hana Japanese Eatery
          5524 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013

          Sakana Restaurant
          5061 E Elliot Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85044

          Cherryblossom Noodle Cafe
          914 E Camelback Rd Ste 1, Phoenix, AZ 85014

          Yasu Sushi Bistro
          4316 E Cactus Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032

          1. re: ookii

            There are a few spots that serve Japanese sans sushi or hibatchi (or at least some non- items)--

            Taneko Tavern, a P.F. Chang's concept (decent food; but take that designation for what it's worth)

            Ippei Japanese Bistro, near the north Phoenix/ Scottsdale border. However, their website http://www.ippeijapanesebistro.com doesn't show anything anymore. Thus, it may have since closed (???).

            And of course, there's always the fabulous Sea Saw (http://www.seasaw.net) in downtown Scottsdale. Though admittedly, a much more inventive and higher-end spot, still a fantastic menu.

            Sea Saw
            7133 E Stetson Dr Ste 1, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

            Taneko Tavern
            6166 N Scottsdale Rd Ste 601, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

            Ippei Japanese Bistro
            7000 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85054

            1. re: Grey

              Nobu's also opening up Shell Shock (I believe it's called) which is his take on a Japanese tavern - will focus on seafood in the Scottsdale Waterfront (along with moving Sea Saw over there).

              1. re: Grey

                I'm pretty sure Ippei is still open. I've driven by a few times and people have been there. This is since the web site went belly-up, so maybe they just forgot to pay their web host. :) I've never been, so I can't comment. However, Hana and Yasu are both really good choices.

              2. re: ookii

                ookii or anybody, can you tell when this place might open (if not yet)? would appreciate any updates from folks in the area (as it's a trek for us). thanks!

            2. You said the magic word -- okonomiyaki is one of my favorite foods. Sadly, there is nowhere in Phoenix that serves it, to my knowledge. Cherry Blossom Noodle Cafe does have takoyaki, though, and you can buy okonomiyaki batter mix, okonomi sauce, and even kewpie mayonnaise at Fujiya Market (tiny place at SE corner of Priest and University in Tempe).

              As for katsu curry, I don't know if anyone serves that, either, although I'd put my money on Sushi Ken in Ahwatukee as the most likely place to find it. Lots of restaurants have regular tonkatsu and chicken katsu, though.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Michele Laudig

                Sushi Ken does indeed serve katsu curry. When they were Sushi Ten down in Tucson, the chicken katsu curry is the only thing one of my friends would order.

                I know that the Tokyo Express quick-service chain has both curry and katsu on their menu, so it wouldn't be a stretch to ask them for curry rice with katsu. It's nowhere close to the best Japanese food I've had in town, but it does work in a pinch.

                Sushi Ken
                4206 E Chandler Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85048

                1. re: Michele Laudig

                  Ironically, I was going to email you at your site and ask you if you knew of anyplace in town that had takoyaki. I'll definitely hit up Cherry Blossom this week.

                  As for the Curry House, I was at Disneyland a couple weeks ago and stayed at a place a couple miles west. Right next to our hotel was the Curry House (CA chain). Picked up a menu, but I was at the park every day (all day), so I never got to try it. The menu sounds great, so I hope this place on Warner has as extensive a curry menu.

                2. Yoshimatsu in Tucson serves Okonomiyaki and Katsu Curry. I've had both and they're yummy. But I wouldn't know how they stand up to Okonomiyaki and Katsu Curry served in Japan. In any case, Yoshimatsu is an excellent restaurant and is worth the drive to Tucson.

                  Here is their website: http://www.yoshimatsuaz.com/

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bunsbert_Montcroff

                    You people rock! I never even knew about Sushi Ten, I live around the 202 and the 101 so it's not even that far away!

                    I'll try the Curry House once it opens, even though I suspect it will be Indian (which is still awesome), I'm open to surprises since Warner and Dobson seems to be going all Asian.

                    1. re: ookii

                      Went to Sushi Ken last night, and that place is without a doubt overtly awesome. Got the Pork Katsu Curry, and order of saba, and then chunky spicy tuna rolls and tempura yellowtail rolls. The curry came with salad and miso soup, I got the salad which I wasn't too fond of, it had what looked like a ginger dressing but ended up being citrusy. The Miso soup wasn't anything to write home about, but no sooner then 2 minutes after it was brought did our Curry arrive. The Curry is delicious and was exactly what I wanted, a Japanese brown curry with a nice crisp fried pork cutlet. I would of liked the Curry spicy (it wasn't at all), and will definitely order it that way next time.

                      The Sushi is a different story. The Sushi was absolutely delicious beyond belief, a real treat I wasn't expecting (I did go for curry after all). The rolls were fantasic, the quality of the Tuna in the Chunky Spicy Tuna roll seemed pratically Toro level, and the Yellowtail was yummy as well. The Saba was extremely good as well, but there were some negatives. All the sushi was very poorly put together, the rolls fell apart when you grabbed them, and the saba fell off of the sushi when you picked it up. It was almost like they formed the rice and then places the fish on top of the sushi, there was no cohesion that made the saba stick to the rice. The rolls I didn't quite get either, it was like they were loosly rolled together and never 'squeezed' (you know how at the end of making a roll the sushi chef pushes down on the rolled up bamboo mat, it's like they didn't do that).

                      When it comes down to it, this is some of the best Sushi I've had in a long time, and I will be going again and again and again many many times.