Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Naporitan @ Curry House - SD

I figured if I can give some love to a Philippine based fast food chain under the umbrella concept of flavors that you simply become attached to.. I can then also be more generous to my town's Japanese familiar Yoshoku menu producing Curry House.

So a couple visits pursued after a rather long time dry spell and look, a (Japanese ketchup flavor based) Spaghetti Naporitan was right under my nose! :)

One on a flat cast iron skillet teppan and also topped with a raw egg even. Am I really in San Diego?? The Teppan Naporitan was a new menu offering at $9.15 for lunch. Add a dollar for the (small but) yummy garlic bread on the side and if you're dining at dinner, add on top a few more cents. A bit pricey but volume was quite high.

CH-SD's version is flavored with a blend of tomato sauce and ketchup so may be more acceptable for some that haven't been introduced to a Japanese Naporitan yet. But I always felt that much of the raw ketchup flavor was transformed during the pan-frying process (with a pad of butter) into something actually surprisingly palatable to most.

Crisscross knife decorated sausage wieners, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, with some CH twist of additional tomatoes, green beans and even corn. The more than usual number of ingredients made it a little fussy for me personally but I guess when you charge ten-bucks for a plate I'd feel the pressure to fancy things up a bit as well.. ;)

The execution of mine this day was on the wet side for my preference but the heated skillet would eventually remedy most of this while also cook the topped raw egg. The egg wasn't so much a surprise to be there as it was more unexpected from what I imagined a typical "safe approach taking U.S. corporate chain restaurant board controlled menu" would allow. But I guess my run-on sentence of a theory would be proven wrong here.. ;)

The Usutaa Sauce (Japanese Worcestershire Sauce) was a really nice touch.(!) I didn't know it'd be such a great match with a Naporitan. Well if anybody, perhaps the folks at House Foods Corp. would know such urawaza techniques for Japanese Westernized Yoshoku dishes most well. The usutaa sauce adds another level of deep flavor Koku and Umami while the tartness brightens up the flavors. Tobasco is another popular Naporitan condiment but I used some of the hot oil which was also great with. I have a feeling I might be back for another plate. :)

I guess I've always felt that if CH would knock a dollar or two off their prices I'd be a much bigger fan (and to be fair they have come through with decent lunch specials over the years).
Service is always top notch to the point it alone can make me feel transported to any of those family restaurants on top of Japanese department stores.

That being said at the end of the day not having Curry House in town for me would be a sad unimaginable thought, and I would guess to many others too. ;)

I think I also noticed a new Hayashi rice on the menu.. Mmm, so curious....

Curry House (SD), 3860 Convoy St #102, San Diego, CA 92111


K and S said...

that napolitan sure had lots of "stuff" in it :)

Dennis K. said...

Hi K&S, haha I know.. FYI though I read the company is related this Curry House is not CoCo Ichibanya. I've been super curious in trying Coco Ichibanya one of these days. The closest I hear is in Hawaii.

CAB said...

Wow that looks like so much food. It's been years since I've been to the Curry House. I think I might have to swing by soon to grab a bite to eat.

Darwin D said...

I always liked Curry House because of their Japanese "diner" food. Makes me really miss living in Japan! I have the same feeling as you, if they did knock off a couple dollars, Id frequent a lot more often.

Dennis K. said...

Hi CAB, it was a while for me too. There are a few new items but the menu is the same for the most part.

Hi Darwin, they've got some pretty good deals during lunch now. I always loved that they give you all the fukushinzuke pickles you want! ;)

fliu said...

They should re-name that the Kitchen Sink pasta dish :) Look at how many items are in there! I've never tried their noodle dishes - always seemed to be expensive. We went when they had their ridic lunch special of $5.99 (katsu curry, rice, salad I think).

Can you request this dish spicy? The few times we've been there and requested 'extra spicy', it came out pretty un-spicy.

Nice post!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Fliu, yeah I prefer my Naporitan more simple, and part of the point of this rather humble dish is that it's usually very affordable (in Japan) but I guess there's a slight premium for exotic-ness here even if the dish is flavored with ketchup, haha.

I'm not sure when you've been back last but there's a charge for anything "extra hot" and above now. Otherwise I noticed the free hot oil actually packs a pretty good heat to drizzle on top of your dish.
Yeah, that Katsu curry is/was a pretty good deal. I'm not sure if they offer it still. :)