On my impromptu L.A. run last weekend I also found myself deep in the heart of San Gabriel Valley. Seemingly not to be a single freeway in a 15-minute drive radius in every which direction, I don't find myself in places like it by chance. No, I was inspired by Keizo of Go Ramen!'s post on Ducks Restaurant and have been wanting to check out my old dining haunt once again. Not sure if they offered Ramen back then but Ducks was my trusted (relatively) local destination for good Japanese Curry.
You can say this strip of East Las Tunas Drive isn't the most inspiring but it was still much less a Daniel Clowes novel feeling and very cleaned up than I had remembered.
Located not far off of the closest cross street Rosemead Blvd, I didn't have much trouble finding the place. Ordering was quick. Although I usually have the Katsu, this day I had the Beef Curry ($9.25). The full menu is posted on my menu vault here. I completely forgot about their starter of finely shredded cabbage with a tangy dressing which immediately brought back many memories..
The Curry, just as I remembered. I find the simple and unadorned look wonderfully attractive.
A velvety texture and medium rich flavor with in this case huge cubes of very tender beef. A very classic and comforting Japanese Curry taste with a hint of something recognizable as Ducks' that I can't seem put my finger on..
Honestly the curry this day was a tad less rich than I remembered having back in the day, but in a good way. I thought the very light vinegar finish also helped balance out the richness and it was something I now wouldn't mind having several times a week.
Of course this would be impossible for me. I also was very tempted to try the many great looking dishes of which photos were sandwiched in between the table glass. I would bet they make a mean Katsudon here.
Behind the counter you can peek at the admirable gleaming stainless steel kitchen.
In fact the entire place is Spotless and very refreshing. Reminds me of another Kamome Shokudo like place.. :)
I will be back!
Ducks Restaurant, 1381 East Las Tunas Dr - Ste 1, San Gabriel, CA 91776
(I wanted to conclude this series tonight but I'm getting over a cold and am very tired.. But next will be some yummy Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos in Laguna Beach!)