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Best Japanese Curry in SF???

Nopa Jul 12, 2011 11:29 AM

I've been to Volcano Curry and Muracci's.
Any others?

  1. r
    rubadubgdub Dec 5, 2011 03:02 PM

    The peko peko version is darned good but not spicy. Instead it's deliciously subtle. Not sure if you can get it easily any more as it was available through the popup general store which is going away in 2012.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rubadubgdub
      wally Dec 5, 2011 04:20 PM



    2. j
      jessijessi Dec 3, 2011 09:37 PM

      You have to try Kare Ken. Hands down the best Japanese style curry I've had in California (SF, LA, SD inclusive). They've only been open a month-ish and have an amazing spicy sweet pork katsu curry. The katsu is thick, tender, crunchy and fantastic in all the right proportions. Reminiscent of Curry House in Little Tokyo LA, but tastier in my opinion. It's on Jones between O'Farrell and Geary.

      6 Replies
      1. re: jessijessi
        Keesey Dec 5, 2011 03:23 PM

        I just tried Kara-Ken. Really awesome chicken katsu. Perfect crunch and came out moist. The Pork Katsu was nice too but not as tender. I had the Hot and it was a good heat, but I bet I could try for an Extra Hot to get that nice sweaty feel.

        They have something called a Dry Beef Curry which is pretty much a ground beef ragu made w/ curry sauce! Very inventive and throughly enjoyed this dish as well! All their curries are on the sweet side.

        The place sits maybe 7 or 8 max. We went late night so there wasn't too much of a wait. Friendly fellas too!

        1. re: Keesey
          bigwheel042 Dec 5, 2011 06:58 PM

          Whoa. From the photos on Yelp, it looks like they gave the space that used to house Eden's Turkish a major makeover.

        2. re: jessijessi
          singleguychef Dec 5, 2011 03:54 PM

          I agree Kare Ken has a great pork cutlet, nicely fried. (And this comes from a guy who doesn't like eating deep fried foods.) I got the mild curry, and I think next time I'll get it little spicier. But I wanted to get a base flavor first.

          My main question is, should the curry be so watery? I thought it was thin and watery when I tried it. I like mine a bit more thick like gravy. I might go back to see if it's gotten thicker.

          Another side point: I don't get why they have to serve everything in to-go containers even when you're eating at their bar. I just think it adds to the landfills everytime you have to throw out the container plus the separate plastic container for the curry sauce. My guess is that they don't have room in that tiny spot for dishwasher.

          1. re: singleguychef
            drewskiSF Dec 6, 2011 10:19 AM

            from their website. the main box, at least, looks compostable?

            Why is my food served in a to-go container?

            That is temporary during our soft opening. We are in the process of making our own custom containers designed for our food. We are hoping they come soon. In the near future, we plan to expand our menu, apply for an alcohol license, and have seated plated dinners. During our soft-opening, orders will be taken from our to-go window but customers are welcome to come in and eat their Curry at our seated bar or standing counter.

            1. re: drewskiSF
              singleguychef Dec 7, 2011 10:32 AM

              Thanks for clarifying. When I visited they were open for just two weeks, so makes sense about the temporary containers. I'll check back in a month to see if they've gotten their dishes. Yeah, the box is compostible. The plastic container holding the curry probably is not.

          2. re: jessijessi
            Nopa Dec 10, 2011 03:36 PM

            Thanks for the Kare Ken recommendation. I tried it last night and it was delicious, got double meat for $12.50 total......

          3. p
            pattoo Dec 3, 2011 08:59 PM

            Ive tried Muracci and Volcano - On The Bridge on japan town is much much better. They have 4 levels of spice where level 4 wll be challenging for chilliheads. Enjoy!

            1 Reply
            1. re: pattoo
              Civil Bear Dec 7, 2011 10:36 AM

              Tried the X-hot curry udon with beef from On the Bridge last night. It was just what I was looking for. Thanks for the tip!

            2. s
              sillyeatinggirl Jul 14, 2011 03:08 PM

              Anyone have a good recipe to make at home? I've tried but can't find the right spice blend/ mix/ recipe.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sillyeatinggirl
                Robert Lauriston Jul 15, 2011 02:30 PM

                See the Home Cooking board:


              2. j
                jman1 Jul 13, 2011 06:50 PM

                Slightly peripheral. I've had Japanese curry over the years (locally and even in Japan). I always enjoyed it as kind of a guilty pleasure, dinner/coffee shop kind of food, not a specialty item. Most times, the sauce tasted very similar to the store bought mix from House or Vermont or similar.

                Last year, I visited Muracci's (Los Altos location) for the first time. Impression was that the curry tasted freshly made and not from a mix. It was good. But, it didn't taste like the standard. So, if you're expecting that, you might be surprised. After getting over my shock, I liked it.

                Staff was friendly. They were testing out a curry bread that they were planning to serve in the SF location and brought out a sample for each customer to try and give feedback. I liked it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jman1
                  Debbie M Jul 14, 2011 12:01 PM

                  Japanese curry is a comfort food, but there's a big difference in taste between curry rice made from a brick (i.e. store-bought mix) and made from scratch (although the brick can be acceptable, especially if it's in my kitchen!).

                  Muracci's comes closest to good curry rice you can get in Japan -- fresh ingredients, made in-house.

                2. n
                  Nopa Jul 13, 2011 12:14 PM

                  Thanks everyone!

                  1. isewinsf Jul 12, 2011 08:07 PM

                    I've never had Japanese curry, what makes it different?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: isewinsf
                      bigwheel042 Jul 13, 2011 01:40 AM

                      A sauce that's more like a spiced brown gravy than what you usually think of as "curry". Little fierce chili heat. Oh, and unlike most authentic Thai curries, you can probably make one at home that's much cheaper, quicker, and far superior to any SF restaurant's version. ;)

                      1. re: bigwheel042
                        isewinsf Jul 13, 2011 05:57 AM

                        Oh yummy! I'll be looking up some recipes then, thanks!!!

                        1. re: bigwheel042
                          Windy Jul 13, 2011 03:31 PM

                          Also it's served over cutlets, usually pork but sometimes chicken and other things. Try Muracci's before you make your own.

                          I seem to remember On the Bridge at Japantown serving it too, but I like Muracci's better.

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

                      2. Debbie M Jul 12, 2011 08:01 PM

                        I like Muracci's and Delica.

                        1 Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA

                        1. m
                          Mr_Happy Jul 12, 2011 02:17 PM

                          I've heard the JapaCurry truck is pretty good but haven't tried it. I like Muracci's.

                          San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Mr_Happy
                            Keesey Jul 12, 2011 02:26 PM

                            JapaCurry serves pretty decent japanese curry seeing as how it comes out of a food truck. Their katsu's are surprisingly crispy and hot (do they allow deep fat fryers in trucks?). I still prefer Murracci's curry for it's actual spice level and freshness, but the wait can be inconvenient. That is what you get for made to order food. Plus I love Muracci's pickled vegies the best.

                            Volcano Curry in the Richmond Dist is hardly volcanic. I tried the 2nd to hottest in their spice level and didn't break a sweat... a good testament to something truly spicy is when my nose starts to drip. Dry as a bone. I'd give it another shot and try their "volcanic" which is the hottest choice.

                            1. re: Keesey
                              caryjones Jul 15, 2011 02:24 PM

                              The volcano strength made me sweat!

                          2. farmersdaughter Jul 12, 2011 12:16 PM

                            Delica in the Ferry Building has meat and vegetarian Japanese curries which are very good.

                            1 Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA

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