Muracci's Japanese Curry & Grill, SF (replaced Kearny St Pies) - anyone try it yet?
I've read that Muracci's Japanese Curry & Grill in SF has replaced Kearny St Pies. It seems pretty good & Yelpers seem to like it. Any chowhounds try it yet?
307 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA, 94108
Website just basic info:
Muracci's Japanese Curry & Grill
307 Kearny St, San Francisco, Ca
Not yet, but just saw this on Eater SF, so the PR machine is out: "a Japanese curry & grill restaurant with some snazzy disjoined-thumbs-up cartoon graphics. The menu is pretty straightforward, offering several teriyakis, katsus and eight curry dishes advertised to have simmered for two days. Noodles, donburi and various other Japanese staples are on the menu too; nothing is over $10."
Went there for lunch today. They already seem to have good, brisk business and a lot of walk-in customers. I tried the pork katsu curry (fried pork cutlet with curry sauce) with brown rice and it was very tasty. The cutlet was lightly fried with panko crumbs and covered in a thin, flavorful curry sauce. Muracci's advertises that their curry sauce is simmered for 2 days with vegetables and herbs, ie. real curry sauce, not the usual gloopy, starchy, salty curry made from cubes. You have a choice of mild, medium, and hot. I got "hot" which is barely spicy. Very authentic and similar in taste to the big curry chains in Japan. Price was $8.50 before tax. All entrees range from $7-9.
In addition to the meat curries, they also do shrimp, salmon, seafood, and veggie curries. They also have the grilled/fried entrees in bento sets with soup, salad, and mini-appetizer. Other items are the donburi bowls, curry noodle bowls. Everything comes with a small side of fresh picked cabbage. The glass display case is now stocked with Japanese pickles, tube-shaped sponge cake, and pre-made sushi as sides.
The owners/cooks are 2 middle-aged Japanese men and a woman who busily made and prepared all the orders in the tiny space between the counter and the stove. I didn't get a chance to ask them any questions.
I'm eager to go back and try their curry noodle, donburis, and seafood curries. This has easily moved into my top slot of non-sushi Japanese food during weekday lunch. Oddly, they're also open on Saturdays from 11a-5p though I have a difficult time imagining who would be eating there at that time.
Just back from having beef curry. I was planning to order something else, like unagi-don or saba shioyaki (I was happy to see that one on the menu), but I was swayed by the menu footnote about the slow-simmered curry. The sauce was thick without being at all gloppy, and well-balanced without being too salty or, worse, too sweet. I ordered it "hot" and, though no one would mistake it for Thai food, it did have some heat.
In short, they did what I thought was impossible: they made me like Japanese curry.
The downside is that it took forever. We arrived at 11:55 and waited 20 minutes to order and 20 more until we got our food. The line remained at least as long as when we arrived for the whole time we were there. I will definitely return, but it joins my list of places to go only at 11:30 or earlier (Mixt Greens, e.g.). They open at 11.
re: david kaplan
I had the salmon curry yesterday. Quite a large , though thin filet of salmon that is browned on a griddle, set over a huge amount of rice (I chose brown rice). The curry sauce comes in a separate plastic tub. I ordered hot, too, and though there was some hot, I thought the sauce lacked depth (i.e., there was just not enough "curry-ness" to it). At least, as david kaplan pointed out, it was not too salty or sweet. Also comes with a small amount of picked cabbage and some chopped red pickled veg - daikon I would guess.
The serving was huge, so I had half the salmon and a ton of rice left over. I used it to make fried rice (adding an egg and some green onion) for lunch today.
I got there at about 11:40 yesterday. I waited about 5 minutes to place my order, and then about 10 or 15 minutes before it was done.
All in all, I won't be in a rush to return, since what I was really after was tasty curry.