Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Curry House's Japanese Curry is Oh-My-Freaking-God Good

Ok, so by the title you probably can figure out that this blog posting is a happy one. Denoting this blog as a happy blog is an understatement, because I wholeheartedly loved, LOVED this place. So here's the scoop.

I first discovered Curry House in LA (Little Tokyo in downtown LA), and I could not believe how good it was. However, when I moved to SF, I couldn't find any other restaurant that serves a Japanese curry even close to the quality that you get in Curry House. Finally, late 2007 they finally opened up a branch that's in Norcal, and my long wait was over.

For those of you who are not familiar with Japanese curry, it is a lot milder and smoother in taste than it's cousin Indian curry. Japanese curry also is roux-based, with caramelized onion and sometimes fruit puree or honey to round out the spiciness from the different spices, which makes the texture different from Indian curry. Although you can also order your curry with different level of spiciness, but even the "extra spicy" is not really that spicy. (It is Japanese food, after all.) Every time I visit the Curry House, it delivers a tasty punch that does not disappoint. (And the punch is definitely from a heavy weight champion!) The pork katsu curry that I ordered this trip was absolutely delicious. The pork cutlet is a thicker cut, so it helps a little bit when it comes to retaining moisture during frying. On top of that, a big ladle full of curry just brings the whole thing together. The big portion definitely makes sure that your belly does not go home hungry and the only bad thing is that my belly always hurts from eating all the food because I just can not stop!

Other than curry, I also ordered their corn potage, which has an eerie similarity to cream corn. (Of course, I got this comparison from my Caucasian husband because I did not grow up with cream corn. So to me it tasted like corn potage.) It's kind of like a lobster bisque but substitute the lobster with corn. The sweetness of the corn and the creaminess of the soup is definitely a good compliment to the curry.

Overall, the Curry House gets a 5 on my yummy scale. To this day, the search for another restaurant that serves the same quality of Japanese curry comes up empty. There is definitely no substitute for something this good. I imagine this is what heaven would taste like, if it's made with curry.

If you would like to try the Curry House and get a little taste of heaven, you can find it at 10350 S. De Anza Blvd., Cuppertino, CA 95014 (a couple of doors down from Apple and Symantec, you lucky bastards!!!)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Angry Asian Food Critic Score - Now With Easy To Identify Graphic Scoring System (GSS)!!

Well, for all of you reading from home/work/in traffic/on the toilet (totally not judging), the Angry Asian Food Critic strives to make your lives easier with a new, exciting, easy to read scoring system:

5 - This food has reached the highest plane of culinary excellence (read: it's so good you will shit your pants in excitement!!!)

4 - Pretty excellent, but there is still room for growth (read: Tom Cruise as compared to L.Ron Hubbard, for all you Scientologists out there)

3 - Not hatred, not love. Kinda in food limbo...

2 - Now you're just wasting my money and stomach space. (read: you're really starting to piss me off with your so-called 'food')

1 - The restaurant may have passed the Health Inspector, but gets a big "F" from taste inspection. This place need to be shut down immediately.Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

So, there it is. Straightforward, no b.s. The Angry Asian Food Critic has your back, word up.

If you're still confused, I really can't help you any more (and you might need to seek medical assistance). For everyone else, happy eating!!

Uzen - The Sushi Heaven on the East Bay!

There are many things I enjoy, and having a good meal is definitely one of them; and having good sushi is very high up on the list. Ever since I've moved to the Bay Area, I've been trying to find some place that has good quality sushi, and at the very least close to my favorite sushi place in LA (please refer my "Some Food for Thought If You Are Going To Los Angeles" in June 2006). It has been a somewhat difficult journey because I had no reference for good restaurants here, let along good Asian restaurants. So I had to consult the Yelp. BIG MISTAKE! Why, you ask? Because people rating restaurant on Yelp have no taste buds (and I had to find that out the hard way!), Anyways, back to my point, I was finally able to find a really good sushi place in Rockridge!

The first time I tried the place, it was after i was battered and bruised from following Yelp's recommendation (thanks for NOTHING, Yelpers!) and I was in no mood of eating another plate of shitty sushi. However, I was pleasantly surprised once the food arrived. The fish quality is definitely great (and fresh), and the small dishes that they have on the menu definitely hits the spot. I got my usual order of yellowtail, scallop, and toro (their special). And they are all excellent! The yellowtail texture was perfect. If you never had yellowtail, definitely try it. It's a little bit like tuna but with a bit more fat in there, so the texture is smoother. The scallop is very fresh, and has that natural sweetness to it. The toro special that they have is the medium grade toro, which is the one I like because it's doesn't have too much fat and the meat just melts in your mouth. We also ordered a couple of other dishes other than the regular sushi items. One dish is the oyster on the 1/2 shell. I rarely find oyster on 1/2 shell that is fresh enough that doesn't have the "oysterness" or that stinkyness that comes naturally with oyster. However, the oyster in Uzen is top notch because I cannot taste any oysterness at all! The fried soft shell crab is pretty good too. The breading was a little bit too much, but the quality of the crab was great and very meaty. They also have a grilled ground chicken wrapped in shiso leaf. That was excellent and also will put you in the mood for a glass of beer (even tho I do not drink)! The ground chicken is seasoned and the mintyness of the shiso leaf gave it a very fresh twist to the otherwise widely popular grilling item.

Overall the place was great, and definitely cured my overwhelming sushi craving. I definitely recommend this place if you ever need a place for great sushi. Uzen gets a 4 out 5 on my yummy scale, only second to my favorite Japanese sushi restaurant Kiyosuzu in LA.

Uzen is located on 5415 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618, and recommend getting there by BART as parking is painful to find.