NEW: Kobe Curry, Mtn View - any reports?
- hhc May 21, 2014 06:07 PM
Found about Kobe Curry in Mtn View from Y*lp. Hope hounds will report back if they try it.
180 Castro St, Mtn View
Read it's behind Shabuway, entrance along walkway left of it.
This place originally opened around early 2013 (I have the date elsewhere) under a restaurant name (not URL) of "curry.jp" and was soon closed by the city as a reported consequence of having de-emphasized table service on application paperwork, which the city took to mean "no" inside seating when approving the plans, though the restaurant implemented such seating. It stayed closed a good year or so.
Act 2: The umbrella restaurant group that operates Shabuways and several other restaurants brought in a new manager, Kevin Uchida (Japanese-born), who reopened the place May 8 (I tried it a few days later) under the new name Kobe Curry, using OUTDOOR seating only (same sidewalk seating as Shabuway) with one server, and take-out. What look at first glance like stool seats inside are for "waiting."
Uchida brought in new recipes too. Currently a modest "starting" menu is offered, with plans to expand it. A basic Kobe-beef-and-mushroom gravy-style "curry" comes in a sauceboat (separate container, for take-out) with rice, salad, and optional fried cutlets of chicken or pork. No vegetarian curries yet; Uchida says he intends to add them as the menu grows. Current menu also includes dumplings/gyoza and other small orders.
Entering the compact interior, you see an order counter, cooks working behind. That's the back end of Shabuway's kitchen. Uchida runs a sort of side operation there, with a great pot of the eponymous curry on a stove, and equipment for side dishes. I tried a take-out curry with fried chicken cutlet. Breaded fried cutlets seem inescapable in Bay Area Japanese restaurant concepts today, yes? They were far less fashionable 30 or even just 20 years ago. Anyway this cutlet must have weighed 300 g., could have served two. Came with a small savory leaf salad, the curry packaged separately. I was quite taken with this curry, a flavorful spiced gravy with a little meat and 'shrooms. (I gather it's an adaptation of a genre popular in Japan -- others here might know about the Japanese prototype -- Uchida said something about this not being the typical Japanese product, but rather his adaptation for the US. I guess, rather like the way "sushi" has come to spin off many US variants outside the Japanese concept?). Will certainly return to try it a few more times.
Note: I routinely try new restaurants in downtown MV soon after opening, usually a few times, and collect basic background from the owners which is then furnished to various interested local parties, and area journalists who may follow up publicly in more detail. I don't read this board regularly enough to spot downtown-MV queries systematically (MV discussions have been comparatively thin on this forum, compared to other parts of the Bay Area, and other media -- e.g., last year K-Pop Korean only surfacing here just before it closed), all making it hard to gauge in advance if it's appropriate to mention every single new opening here -- but hey, I spotted this one by hhc, obviating any such decision, and I can often answer basic questions early if I am diligent enough to see them.