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Delicious Spree LA to Z: H is for Hurry Curry

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LAist is going on a delicious spree from A to Z, and we've been frolicking all spring through H. This week, we continue into summer with Hurry Curry of Tokyo on Sawtelle in West LA.

The music that’s playing inside Hurry Curry is pumped to the outside “patio” with a few tables and chairs. It’s latin electronica light. We like it. However, even on the loveliest evenings in LA, not sure we’d want to sit outside on the sidewalk of this all-Japanese strip mall, blinded every few minutes by headlights of the take out crowd and a very efficient valet. But the music is nice whilst waiting oustide with the other interesting looking characters who look like they’re loitering outside, but are, indeed, just waiting for their to-go orders.

The clientele is young and mostly mixed Asian. They look like the next generation of UCLA students and post-college young adults. Hey, we used to be one of them, too, and perhaps we go back to Hurry Curry every once in a while because we miss the days of our yute. Wow, we sound old.

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There are only a few things in the kitchen's repertoire, but Hurry Curry does a good job of dressing them up in different ways to make the menu seem larger than it is. Rice or spaghetti noodles. Chicken, beef, or tofu. Curry sauces that vary only in heat. Keeping it simple is always a great business model.

Though they are usually made from leftover mashed potatoes in most households, we love croquettes. There's nothing made of potatoes here, so no worrying about a prior existence, unless the kitchen carts leftover baked potatoes from sister restaurant Enterprise Fish Company (what an odd family). The croquettes are delicious as an appetizer, but create quite a carb overload as part of a curry dish - steamed rice and mashed potatoes crusted with breadcrumbs, smothered in flour and/or cornstarch thickened curry? Dr. Atkins would have a heart attack. Never mind.

Fried Chicken is also a good appetizer, and the menu says it's served with their famous chicken dressing. We've always wondered what the exact recipe for this "dressing" is, but it basically tastes like a sweetened mayonnaise with some spices. It's the same dressing they use on the Chicken Pasta, but here, they call it their white sauce. The Chicken Pasta is always good, but very very guilty.

We wouldn't dare go to Hurry Curry to order a salad, though the Tofu Salad is under five dollars, and has a fairly good soy sauce and vinegar dressing. The thing that makes us chuckle about the salads in any Japanese restaurant is the iceberg lettuce. It's extremely funny that just iceberg lettuce is considered a salad. It does have dressing on it, though.

At Hurry Curry, we always order some version of the Chicken Curry, with a special request for "extra spicy." The perfect half sphere of rice looked like it had been molded in the morning and left under a heat lamp of sorts all day. Glossy, yes it was, but the outermost layer, one rice-grain thick, was dry, hard, and sticky in the bad way.

Hurry Curry's special request extra spicy just wasn't spicy. At all. But the unfortunate thing in many Japanese restaurants is that they don't have hot sauce - only a chili powder, nanami togarashi, which is typically used to season udon and ramen broths - not right for curry over rice.

One thing we for which we will give Hurry Curry credit is the tenderness of the chicken. Certainly, it's tender because it's the dark meat. They must simmer those chicken thighs and legs all day until the meat practically dissolves off the bone. That's how tender their chicken is. And heck, for just barely eight bucks, we'll take it.

Hurry Curry of Tokyo
2131 Sawtelle Boulevard (@ Mississippi)
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 473-1640

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