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Great Japanese Curry: Where?

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I'm looking for a place that serves authentic Japanese style curry like the kind you could eat in Tokyo at various train stations. I miss it. A plate of rice on the side and your choice of meat alongside some of those red pickled veggies and that yummy hot curry poured over all of it.

Now... anyone have suggestions on where I can find a good place that makes GREAT japanese curry here in the Bay Area. So far the only acceptable places I've found is the katsu curry served lunch time at Gombei in San Jose, and the curry served at Tani's Kitchen at Westlake Shopping Center in Daly City.

I'll be grateful if someone would throw me some suggestions or some friendly recommendations!

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  1. I don't have a recommendation, but you might be interested in hearing that House Foods is opening up a branch of its Curry House chain in Cupertino that is slated to open up next year.

    The menu looks very curry-centric:

    http://www.house-foods.com/curry_hous...

    11 Replies
    1. re: Humbucker

      How about "On the Bridge" in Japantown? It's literally on the bridge between Miyako Mall and the Kinokuniya Building. I've only had their Japanese-style spaghetti dishes, but they also have Japanese curry on the menu and you can even choose your own toppings. The food is satisfying, especially when I'm craving some "youshoku" (or Japanese-style Western foods).

      Here's the restaurant's website: http://www.sfonthebridge.com/OnTheBri...

      -----
      On the Bridge
      1581 Webster St # 206, San Francisco, CA

      1. re: dreamsicle

        I have no idea how it stacks up but The Bridge usually gets the recommendation. It is known for their curries.

        1. re: dreamsicle

          On The Bridge's curry is pretty good, I'm not sure it's great, although I can't think of anyplace that I've had it better. The "mild" is very mild indeed, even by the standards of Japanese curry. There are a few set variations or you can choose all your own ingredients. On a side note, I walked by yesterday and there was a big sign saying that they would be open on Thanksgiving and Christmas - for a new holiday tradition, perhaps?

          1. re: Nina

            Looks like everyone recommends On The Bridge. Ive passed by that restaurant many times but I always figured it was Americanized. Ill have to check it out.

            Is there anywhere else around in the Bay Area that offers authentic Japanese style curry? Was hoping there would be other small mom and pop places like Tani's Kitchen that offered good curry...

            Oh yeah, and Ill have to check out Curry House when it opens too!

            1. re: leddytech

              I like the Veggie Curry at Sushi Bay on Kearny in the financial district. Sushi Bay is just a funky take out place. Most of the stuff is pretty medicore, but I always enjoyed the curry.

              -----
              Sushi Bay
              355 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108

              1. re: leddytech

                Ichiro in downtown Oakland offers Japanese style curry (pork or chicken). It was quite salty to my taste, but did match your description (what *are* those pickled vegetables anyway?).

                1. re: Marc Wallace

                  The pickles are called "fukujinzuke", which consists of a variety of vegetables. I like how they add a slightly sweet and crunchy texture to Japanese curry. The curry place I go to in Hong Kong also serves Worcester sauce and soy sauce on the side along with the fukujinzuke, although I don't think that's very common.

                  Here's more info on fukujinzuke from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukujinzuke

                2. re: leddytech

                  Yoshoku-style is "Westernized"
                  http://www.japaneserestaurantinfo.com...

                  curry photos at
                  http://www.japaneserestaurantinfo.com...

                  1. re: leddytech

                    I haven't tried many Japanese curries at all -- but tonight, my bf and I tried On the Bridge. He had the shrimp katsu don with curry rice-- so i got to try the curry sauce, and I like it a lot. When I return, I will try a curry. I had the chicken kaarage -- good, i like it drier on the outside but it was tasty and the portion was very generous. to us, the environment was a plus-- quirky, comfortable, familiar.

              2. re: Humbucker

                That is good news... there is one on Sawtell Blvd. in West L.A. aka Japan town... that did very well with UCLA's Japanese students (not Japanese-Americans). I really like the Rib Eye & Shrimp Tempura curries.... I really enjoyed getting all the extra garnishes like hard boiled eggs etc.,

                1. re: Humbucker

                  Oh my god, Curry House in Cupertino?! You have just made my night!

                2. Try this place:

                  http://www.sfonthebridge.com/OnTheBri...

                   
                  1. Many have mentioned On The Bridge. I ate Japanese curry there once sometime in 2001ish and thought it was pretty horrible, in that the texture was grainy as if they had used boxed-curry-roux blocks and hadn't really melted them down. Maybe it was a bad day but I never wanted to waste money on it again.

                    I like Curry House in SoCal so when it hits the Bay I assume that should be satisfying (massive hot pot so you can eat the crisped rice at the bottom with the spicy curry!)

                    There is a restaurant in the Inner Sunset of SF called Hotei that has lots of ramen & udon, but also has curry or katsu curry on the menu. It is pretty good, at least, fulfilling the Japanese curry comfort-food craving.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tastymeep

                      I lunched at On The Bridge today mainly because of this thread. I had passed the place a million times on my way to Mifune but never stopped in until today, but that won't happen again. I opted for Udon Curry on the special lunch menu which included one side or beverage. I chose salad. The salad arrived first, a small bowl of seasonal greens with a few chunks of out-of-season tomatoes. If there were any salad dressing I couldn't tell it was so bland, a dire foreboding of things to come. The udon arrived in a large soup bowl with a fried egg floating in the middle sunnyside up. More chopped tasteless tomatoes garnished the side of the bowl. I had ordered the curry extra spicy for which there was a $0.45 surcharge. And I also asked for a side of fukujinzuke, an additional $1.25. The curry was not at all fiery....rather tepid in, fact. The fukujinzuke were undersalted slightly acidic shavings of what looked like pink colored daikon. Comfort food indeed! I left rather discomforted by the experience, and $11.50 the poorer.

                      1. re: friscofrog

                        Thx for your review friscofrog. I was planning to go there sometime last week, but at the last minute I opted to just goto Tani's Kitchen. Ill have to remember to try it out this month sometime.

                    2. I've no idea if this is great curry or not, but I really enjoy the curry at hattoriya in mt. view. It's only beef curry and reminds me of a japanese version of a hearty beef stew. I think it's great comfort food and this is definitely a mom and pop kinda place. I usually go there for udon.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: margieco

                        I wasn't the biggest fan of the curry there. It felt a little too boxed too me, but maybe it was just bland. Though I did like how it was presented.

                      2. Try Minato's, it is in SJ Japantown 2 blocks from Gombei's. The Katsu curry comes w/ Tonkatsu, a couple of fried shrimp, and some red crunchy preserved vegetables (what are these ? They go really well w/ the curry).

                        1. Having lived in Tokyo for a couple of years, with a curry store near my office, it was often a favorite dinner if I had to work late. I've looked around SF, and found a decent version at Delica RF-1, at the Ferry Building.

                          In general, I like most of their stuff and it's a favorite lunch spot - bento lunches are tasty, seasonal and great quality.

                          The curry is usually available in two varieties (meat or veggie) and in regular or large size. I typically find the regular meat curry serves as a great lunch. Rice is also quite good (you get very picky about rice after living in Japan ;-)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: RichInMV

                            If my memory serves right, the mushroom curry at Delica RF-1 isn't vegetarian. There's ground beef (or chicken?) in it. The photos of the curry rice do look good though.

                          2. I'll probably forget by the first Saturday in August 2009 and so will you, but that'll be the next time that the Oakland Buddhist Church celebrates Obon, and serves the tastiest curry rice I've ever had. It's the pickles that really make it pop -- mostly onion, I think, and like no other Japanese pickles I've had.

                            -----
                            Buddhist Church of Oakland
                            825 Jackson St, Oakland, CA

                            1. They simmer their curry for 2 days. Not from instant like many other places.

                              -----
                              Muracci's Japanese Curry & Grill
                              307 Kearny St, San Francisco, Ca

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: K K

                                An update to this thread... Muracci's is indeed the most authentic curry I have tried so far in San Francisco. The taste and texture is similiar to the curry I had in the curry chains in Tokyo, namely the ones I ate multiple times in the Shinjuku station.

                                They give for free those pickled red veggies and a good amount of rice. The downside however is that they give less curry sauce now, then they did before when they first opened. There is an option to get more curry sauce, but you have to pay for it. Also, the other downside is that it gets VERY busy.

                                Oh well, still... IMO this is the best place to eat japanese curry in San Francisco Ive found so far.

                                1. re: leddytech

                                  The Pork Katsu done with spicy curry and brown rice is incredible.

                                  1. re: leddytech

                                    Yea, if you want Japanese curry I'd stick to one of these places for now: (1) Muraccis in downtown SF (2) Delica-RF at the Ferry bldg also in SF and (3) Curry House in Cupertino.

                                2. If you're down in San Mateo Kobeya has pretty tasty Japanese Curry near the Noodle Shop on 25th Ave.

                                  Kobeya
                                  140 W 25th Ave
                                  San Mateo, CA 94497
                                  (650) 578-0880

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: biotech bob

                                    Not hip to Kobeya, what else do you like there?

                                    -----
                                    Kobeya
                                    140 W 25th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94403

                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                      As everyone has mentioned, the Bridge in SF Japan Town is usually pretty consistent. I also liked Hotaru's curry as well. Although it's not really their specialty, they have a good recipe and its consistent.

                                      1. re: Zinc Saucier

                                        Has anyone tried the curries at Asuka on Bush?