HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
What's your latest food project?
TELL US

Curry House CoCo Ichibanya...

i
ilysla Jan 15, 2013 12:37 AM

... is apparently coming to Brentwood, replacing the Rubio's Fish Taco. It'll be right next Izakaya Hachi (which I've never tried).

I tried searching for posts about the place, but I couldn't find much. What have people's experience been w/ the other LA (county) locations?

  1. r
    raizans Jan 15, 2013 09:02 AM

    the curry is ok. i prefer the crispy chicken over the tonkatsu.

    1. j
      jasongg06 Jan 15, 2013 09:07 AM

      their food is ok. I tried a few locations in japan and I felt that the quality/taste of their curry isn't good enough to drive out of the way for

      I love the customization though

      1. k
        kainzero Jan 15, 2013 05:51 PM

        i agree with jasongg06.

        luckily there is a cocoichi very close to me, so i don't really drive that far to go to one.

        i'd probably compare it to in-n-out in terms of quality, except with curry and not burgers, obviously.

        my go-to item is chicken katsu with cheese, spice level 3. didn't really like the tonkatsu.

        13 Replies
        1. re: kainzero
          i
          ilysla Jan 15, 2013 11:48 PM

          Thanks for the responses!

          I'm not the biggest fan of In-n-Out, but this new location is a fairly short walk from where I live, so it sounds like it'll be worth trying....

          1. re: kainzero
            j
            Johnny L Jan 17, 2013 02:55 AM

            In Japan they are everywhere so it's consistently good curry but nothing extraordinary like In-n-Out to burgers as you stated.

            1. re: Johnny L
              Tripeler Jan 17, 2013 06:38 AM

              The curry may be good, but remember it is Japanese curry and very mild and somewhat "pasty" compared to Indian curry. I hope people understand the difference.

              1. re: Tripeler
                j
                jasongg06 Jan 17, 2013 09:08 AM

                Since it's a Japanese curry chain from japan.... Isn't that how it should taste....?

                1. re: Tripeler
                  Dommy Jan 17, 2013 11:20 AM

                  Japanese Curry is very different from Indian and Thai Curries. It's a lot more mild (Although chains like Co Co have options for spicier versions), the curry note is more tumeric but also has flavors of ginger, ginger and anise. I wouldn't call it pasty (although many are based on a spice paste), but it does have a lot more body than other curries.

                  To be honest, it's my favorite style of curry (Only beaten by American Curry, chili), I love the texture (how it just coats rice) and the flavor (especially when I add toppings!) to be wonderful. But I will say I was not impressed with Co Co's Curry. Curry house is meh. When I make it at home, I use S&B Powder instead of the paste tablets. But my all time favorite version is at Foo Foo Tei.

                  --Dommy!

                  1. re: Dommy
                    i
                    ilysla Jan 17, 2013 11:49 AM

                    Would you say that Curry House and Co Co Curry are comparable? I'm actually fine w/ Curry House (although I normally order the meat-sauce dishes there....), so having a nearby place that offers comparable quality (at hopefully similar prices!) would be just fine by me....

                    1. re: ilysla
                      j
                      jasongg06 Jan 17, 2013 12:48 PM

                      I'd rank the ones I ate at recently in order of taste lvl:

                      Ducks Restaurant - San Gabriel - very good curry and katsu, but stay away from noodles. Expensive overall and you will smell like oil when you leave.
                      Kosuke - Alhambra - slightly sweeter than normal japanese curry, not bad overall because their ramen is also good.
                      CoCo Ichibanya - Japan - love the variety, but taste is mediocre
                      Tamaya - Alhambra or Curry House - jtown/monterey park - both kinda meh. tamaya's curry is japanese curry but less thick. I'd give curry house the edge mostly because they have more selection and their locations are usually better.
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      Daikokuya - Arcadia - I know it's a ramen place, but curry is on their menu in arcadia. worst curry I've ever had.

                      I can't say i've tried the cocoichibanya here in the states, but even in japan, their quality is just ok. I'm confident enough to say that they STILL would taste better than curry house because curry house really isn't that good.

                      There are also tons of restaurants that serve curry that I've eaten through the years sprinkled all over la/sgv, but none really make me want to go drive back to get curry. There are probably a ton in DTLA I haven't tried, the only real way to see is to go to eat restaurant and try yourself. hope it helps :)

                      1. re: jasongg06
                        Dommy Jan 17, 2013 12:56 PM

                        I REALLY wanted to love Ducks... but I prefer Foo Foo Tei and it is cheaper...

                        I haven't tried Kosuke... I really want to. Also there are quite a few Curry places popping up in Koreatown... I haven't had a chance to explore them just yet either...

                        --Dommy!

                        1. re: Dommy
                          j
                          jasongg06 Jan 17, 2013 01:48 PM

                          yea I want to try foo foo tei curry but I usually just end up getting ramen there. also the wait is horrible, which makes me visit a lot less often than i'd like to.

                      2. re: ilysla
                        Dommy Jan 17, 2013 12:54 PM

                        I would say so, but Co Co has a more casual / fast food feel and the menu is smaller and limited to pretty much curry.

                        --Dommy!

                        1. re: ilysla
                          k
                          kainzero Jan 17, 2013 02:35 PM

                          i prefer cocoichi to curry house but i have friends that prefer curry house.

                          to me, curry house does not differ too much from the curry you can make from the blocks of roux you can get at the supermarket.

                          i view japanese curry as comfort food so i think i'd be scared if curry actually wowed me.

                      3. re: Tripeler
                        scottca075 Jan 17, 2013 03:06 PM

                        That Japanese curry is "milder" than Indian curry might be a generalization but at Curry House CoCo Ichibanya you choose your degree of spiciness. I love hot, spicy food, not so obnoxiously hot you can't taste the food, but hotter and spicier than most people like and at "7" the Curry House CoCo Ichibanya curry was probably as hot as I could stand and still enjoy it.

                        Also at Curry House CoCo Ichibanya you choose the amount of rice you want, the protein and then the spiciness. It is like a "choose one from column "A" kind of experience. In 'n Out isn't quite the right comparison, because it is full serve, not counter service, but there is a very fast foodish/Applebees feel about it.

                        I think it is great for what it is, a casual eatery with lots of outlets.

                        1. re: scottca075
                          Servorg Jan 17, 2013 04:15 PM

                          "...but at Curry House CoCo Ichibanya you choose your degree of spiciness."

                          We've always specified the degree of heat (or as my wife has taught me to say: karai 辛い) at Hurry Curry of Tokyo on Sawtelle (our normal venue for getting chicken cutlet curry). Are you saying it's unusual for these places to offer varying degrees of heat? I've always taken that feature as normal and unremarkable.

                  2. n
                    ns1 Jan 17, 2013 01:48 PM

                    FWIW, I liked the curry that I got from Ramen Jinya.

                    Reminds me of the tokyo curry from hurry curry.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ns1
                      Dommy Jan 17, 2013 06:00 PM

                      For that type of mince meat curry... I actually prefer Yamayada... :)

                      --Dommy!

                      1. re: Dommy
                        n
                        ns1 Jan 17, 2013 06:03 PM

                        I'll have to check it out next time. I love that style of curry.

                        1. re: ns1
                          Dommy Jan 17, 2013 07:30 PM

                          Yeah... one of my favorite lunches there is their salad (Which includes their awesome egg) and a small bowl of their curry... I can't do much ramen anymore as I'm sensitive to the salt...

                          --Dommy!

                    2. a
                      andrew_eats Jan 17, 2013 06:08 PM

                      Living in Hawaii on and off most of my life, I've eaten CoCo Ichibanya many times. So I have a biased preference for it.

                      It's a bit lighter than most Japanese curry places. It doesn't have that smoky peppery finish you'd find commonly in Tokyo. That aside, I think it's enjoyable and will be a welcome option to Curry House and Hurry Curry. It also tastes quite different to the typical bland curry you find in most places around here.

                      It's ridiculously popular in the Kansai area of Japan, I passed a different one every day when I was travelling.

                      I recommend the katsu curry, with cheese on top.

                      http://twitter.com/andrew_lum

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: andrew_eats
                        j
                        jasongg06 Jan 17, 2013 07:42 PM

                        "It's ridiculously popular in the Kansai area of Japan, I passed a different one every day when I was travelling."

                        that is why I ate so much of it heh

                      2. i
                        ilysla Jan 18, 2013 11:03 AM

                        Hmmm.... Will all the responses, I might just have to do an informal curry cafe hop.... ;)

                        Does Korean curry taste much different than Japanese curry? The curry I had at Chinese restaurants (rarely) always seemed rather oily and not particularly flavorful to me....

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ilysla
                          Dommy Jan 18, 2013 12:38 PM

                          The places I'm thinking of, (like Curry Hyang) are based on Japanese Curry Houses. In fact, many of them position themselves as Tonkatsu Houses (Donkatsu in Korean). It's gotten so much that Curry House recently opened in Koreatown...

                          Chinese and Vietnamese curry dishes like you noted, tend to be a bit more oily and soupy. Closer to Indian versions than the Japanese...

                          --Dommy!

                          1. re: Dommy
                            j
                            jasongg06 Jan 18, 2013 01:41 PM

                            I'd personally skip korean curry, as korean curry is generally just their version of japanese curry.

                            Also dommy, chinese and vietnamese curry are not always the same. The reason so much of it is similar, is because there are a lot of chinese vietnamese chefs that happen to serve one style or the other in restaurants. However, there are differences, and I feel that they can separate them into vietnamese+chinese-vietnamese, and cantonese/hk style. Generally, the vietnamese and chinese-vietnamese style is more oily and watery (as in less thick) usually served with vermicelli or french bread, and cantonese types are thicker and served over rice.

                            To see the difference, try curry at a hk cafe or place like savoy, then try it again at golden deli or dips grill (largely vietnamese influenced). I'm not sure how to explain the differences in taste because I do not know how to make curry (from scratch), but trying the dishes should give you a good idea of what the differences are.

                            I wrote a lot more but my message got wiped out ugh

                            1. re: jasongg06
                              Dommy Jan 18, 2013 04:55 PM

                              I've had the curry at Golden Deli (meh) and I actually thought the one at Lee Kam Kee was better...

                              I have not had the one at Savoy... I just can't get past there without ordering their Hainan Chicken... will try next time though! :)

                              The reason why I want to try the Korean places is that some of them do OmuRice (Curry Hyang gets particularly high marks) and it's so HARD to find a good place to get it (Blue Marlin's version is just ok) without, again, driving out to FooFooTei... But I'll go in with my expectations lowered a bit...

                              --Dommy!

                        Show Hidden Posts