My favorite Japanese curry was a discovery during my college years. While living in Daly City, CA and attending the Art Institute of California in downtown San Francisco, I would occasionally spend my weekends hanging out with my roommate in the Westlake Shopping Center off of John Daly Boulevard.
One day, I decided to venture out and try something “new”. I say that with quotes because in 2005, I was a 20 year old kid from Fresno who had never really eaten anything other than home cooked meals or the occasional fast foods which meant Japanese cuisine was completely different.
I’m Hmong, so rice is a staple and my particular tastes tend to lean on the smush and crunch side. As such, Japanese curry hit right in the middle of everything I loved. The curry from Tani’s Kitchen was an amazing find! The portion, the flavor, the cuts. All mind blowing.
Pre-2020, we used to be able to sit in their restaurant, which I have to stress is very small, but that just adds to the atmosphere. If it’s a really busy day, you might have a bit of a wait. But it’s worth it.
During my first experience, I was presented with a giant bowl of rice with curry on the side. For my meat, I chose chicken katsu. This was a fine, fine choice because I thoroughly enjoyed it. The curry was delicious without being too salty or watered down nor did it have too much black pepper that would overpower the flavor. The chicken was also beautifully cooked: perfectly crunchy with a moist center!
I’ve been in the Bay Area for 13+ years now and even though I occasionally find delicious curry, I always come back to Tani’s Kitchen. This is also the curry that converted my wife, who never really liked curry and always questioned my smush and crunch decisions. Any curry that can do that is truly delicious. If you’re in the area, drop in and grab a bite!