For a neighborhood that’s only roughly 5 square blocks, Little Tokyo (or “Li’l Tokes”, as I like to call it) has an incredible population of unique restaurants. You can pretty much find any cuisine that you’re craving, from the typical (Johnny Rockets, Subway) to the insanely specific (the fusion madness of The Flying Pig, or Kula’s rotating conveyer-belt sushi), and Curry House fits right in there between the expected and something that could qualify as a fusion mash-up (Japanese-style curry and an Eastern take on pasta).
Located in the Weller Court shopping mall, Curry House takes the most comforting aspects of comfort food (deep-fried, starchy, soaked with gravy), and fine tunes them with a curry recipe that slow cooks more than 30 ingredients until they dissolve into the creamiest, tastiest gravy you’ve ever tasted. The effect is exotic and familiar, and elevates the standard chicken katsu to chicken kat-SUPER.
The Katsu curry is by far their most popular and satisfying dish: the chicken breast, chicken thigh, and pork are all lightly Panko-breaded and perfectly tender. My choice is the thigh, along with the sweeter, “mild” curry (the mild curry is the only version that is 100% vegan, paired with their seasoned tofu-veggie patty katsu) and I just add the super-hot chili oil to the curry in teeny-tiny doses (nothing ruins comfort food quite like uncomfortably spicy sauces). For one to two dollars more, you can add a couple onion rings, deep-fried shrimp, potato croquettes, or even “wiener tips” to satisfy just about every craving.
Earlier this month, Curry House added a really intense (and oddly patriotic) entree to their menu (at the Little Tokyo location at least), The Loco Moco Curry. I imagine that this is a sly dig at the Aloha Cafe down the street in Li’l Tokes. The Loco Moco is a pretty interesting dish, sort of a beloved garbage plate in Hawaiian culture, and – judging by the long wait – one of the most difficult culinary masterworks in the history of the world! (Server: “I’m so sorry, we’ve kinda got a new crew back there”.) The Loco Moco is a beefed-up version of the “Menchi” burger curry with an egg on top. With the American flag on top, you just can’t help feeling proud as you chow down on this masterpiece. But maybe Curry House should have put a couple of lit sparklers in there, too, just for good measure.
I’ve got to hand it to Curry House: Every element is 100% consistent, every time. The amazing soy salad dressing, the “curry pan” (almost like a curry version of a pork bun), the service, even the little red radish things in a jar on every table. Give their katsu curry a try, and discover your new favorite comfort food.
Curry House is located at:
Weller Court Shopping Center
123 S. Onizuka St., #204
Los Angeles, CA 90012