Reading this blog, you know that Mr. Mochi is a huge fan of Japanese curry. For a white boy, he is quite the connoisseur of fried foods and rice smothered in gravy-like curry sauce. He was very keen on trying out a new curry place.
Coco Inchibanya first started in Nagoya, Japan, in 1978 and now has over 1200 restaurants in Japan, as well as many more internationally in places like China, Korea, and Thailand. Their first U.S. restaurant didn't open until 2011, and now there's three of them. Funnily enough, all three are in Southern California, all within 45 minutes of me!
|Keema curry with naan bread|
Coco Ichibanya has a unique menu, in that you can choose the quantity of rice and the level of spiciness in increasing levels. Unless you are super hungry, the normal amount of rice I think would satisfy (I had leftover with the normal portion), but you can order any quantity you want! Also fun is the mind-boggling array of topping choices, everything from the classic tonkatsu or beef/carrots/potatoes, to cream chicken, fried squid, or even sausages.
Mr. Mochi had quite the time pouring over the menu before setting on chicken karaage (fried chicken, $7.49) curry with the spiciness bumped up a little. I went with the menchi katsu (メンチカツ, $8.99), which is a panko-crusted fried minced beef cutlet. Propped up on some rice and doused with their standard curry sauce, it was delicious: very moist with a perfect crunchy fried exterior.
We also tried the Keema curry with naan bread, something that was novel to both of us. Keema curry has ground meat mixed in with veggies, which gives it a heartier and meatier taste as well as as a chunky texture. I've had it in Indian samosas, but sampling the Japanese version was new. Compared to traditional Indian keema, this had more liquid and of course the sweeter Japanese spice profile similar to Japanese curry. This stuff is amazing, and you better believe I am going to try and make a similar recipe for my blog.
|You can even get multi-topping curry|
|Spice and Rice Size charts|
|Menchi Katsu Curry|
2710 Alton Parkway Suite A-115
Irvine CA 92606