Maybe Destination Dinner: Japan is the same night as your Dungeons & Dragons session, but I’ve nevertheless incited your excitement at taking part in Japanese culture. With an eye for conflict resolution, I present a compromise to you: curry. A staple of Indian culture, which also became popular in Japan, it’s the perfect combination of saucy spices to go with rice, meat and veggies and just what you need to hit the spot that kickstarts your system with a bit of heat and a lot of flavor. “But Dan Dan,” you might say, “I don’t know where to get curry!” Of course you would, if you explored our online Chowtown database of restaurants in the city, but if you really want, I’ll give you my recommendations for the enjoyment of a damn good curry dish here in the town.
O My O Ramen
O Ramen and Curry House (2114 Central Ave. SE) is one of my go-to spots for a million reasons, including the customization of a ramen dish for all kinds of dietary needs, but many people tend to overlook the curry offerings they have. If you want to dig in on a basic curry offering, they have you covered at $5.50, but those of us feeling more adventurous and ready for something a little more intense can find comfort in their full offerings at $9.50, featuring multiple protein choices, a vegetable medley, tofu and the often-ignored but incredibly good potato croquette curry. All of them come with pickled daikon and scallions, helping to give a little more tang to the curry itself, although it stands on its own with a robust taste and bravado.
Deep Fry It All
Magokoro Japanese Restaurant (5614 Menaul Blvd. NE) is one of those places you should know about but have inevitably missed out on dining at. While everything they serve is wonderful, the real star of the show is their curry. At $11.95 for most offerings (seafood is $1 more, while plain curry is $6.50) you’ll find choices that exceed the usual status quo. Sure, the tonkatsu (deep-fried breaded pork) is a great go-to because of familiarity, but the chicken kara-age is too good to forget. This deep-fried marinated chicken pairs well with the scintillating combination of spices and flavors in the Magokoro curry and will fill the hole that your life has been experiencing. Don’t have a hole in your life? Maybe it’s just me, but regardless, you’ll feel more complete as a person for trying this. They also offer deep-fried and breaded tofu as well as a vegetable tempura for those who lean vegetarian in their dietary choices, so have no fear of boring veggie curry during your dining experience.