If you’ve had Japanese curry in the States before, you know they’re not exactly similar to their Indian and Thai counterparts in the spice department. Even the spiciest levels at places like Curry House register somewhere between milk and…a banana. Now comes along CoCo Ichibanya, which has just started opening up locations in the continental United States (they’ve had a location in Hawaii since the 1980’s). They just opened up their Irvine location on November 25 (the day after Thanksgiving) right next to 85C Bakery and let me tell you the curry here gets spicy. Like really spicy. You select a spice level from 1-10, but Levels 6 and up come with the following warning:
Only those who have eaten an entire serving of Level 5 can order these levels.
I ordered Level 3 because I was looking for something with a little heat, but this sucker actually had me sweating. I tasted a Level 5 off my friend’s plate, and I can’t even imagine what a Level 10 is. I suspect they just bring out a boiling plate of lava. Don’t try to be a tough guy and order the Level 10 just because it’s there. Seriously. I usually average somewhere between a 7 or 8 out of 10 at Thai places, and the Level 3 here was already at my comfortable limit. If you manage to finish a Level 10, you have the tongue/stomach/anus of a spice-eating god. That or you’re probably in a hospital right now.
Thin-sliced Beef Curry – The flavor of the curry is good, but this definitely could’ve used more beef. If I had my way there’d be huge chunks of steak mixed in here. And then, I dunno, another whole steak placed on top.
Chicken Cutlet Curry – The chicken is crispy, juicy, and delicious. The curry was also a Level 5, so there was some pain involved. Delicious, delicious pain.
Don’t remember what this was, but there were different parts of the chicken involved. Some crispy, some not so crispy. Obviously I should be taking some better mental notes when I go out to eat.
Hamburg Curry – I didn’t taste it, but I can’t imagine they messed up a fried meatloaf patty.
“Good smell. Good curry.” Awesome tagline.
Curry House Coco Ichibanya
2700 Alton Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92606