Zen Curry recently opened in San Diego. It is related to the popular Curry Zen in Las Vegas. After several years without a dedicated Japanese curry restaurant in San Diego, I was very eager to try out Zen Curry.
The restaurant took over the short-lived Taste of Taiwan Popcorn Chicken. I had visited Taiwan Popcorn Chicken several times but never ended up writing a post because after showing some initial promise, this San Diego branch of the Los Angeles-based chain never did seem to work out its kinks.
Zen Curry is so new that it doesn’t even yet have a sign. Instead, you need to look for the Taste of Taiwan Popcorn Chicken sign. They did make some changes to the interior though. The restaurant is currently only open for dinner and offering a limited menu.
We arrived early and we lucky enough to grab a table during the first seating. The staff was very friendly.
The menu has a decent selection of curry plates. There are also plenty of add-ons so you can customize to your liking. I especially liked the ability to add more proteins because I was having a hard time choosing just one. You can also adjust the level of spice, but they do charge for higher levels of spiciness.
Kurobuta Sausage Curry with mozzarella and croquettes added
I enjoyed the sausages, which had a nice smokey flavor and good snap to them. The curry had a good flavor to it but when it arrived, it was already lukewarm. I think I would have enjoyed the curry much more if it had arrived steaming hot.
Our wait for the food to arrive was a little long. My guess is that the curry was dished out before the croquettes were ready and it cooled down by the time it was served to us.
We did see another table near us have steaming hot plates brought to them, so I do think this is just some of the soft opening kinks that they will eventually work out.
Update: We’ve since revisited a few times and the curry arrived steaming hot each time. And our food arrived quickly. It seems they have worked out their soft opening kinks.
Oyster Katsu Curry with corn and tofu katsu added
The oyster katsu was nicely fried, with a feathery light and crispy exterior and a soft oyster filled center. I also enjoyed the tofu katsu, though the tofu is unseasoned which may be a bit bland for some. I didn’t mind though.
Like the sausage curry, this curry also wasn’t served hot enough but I did enjoy the flavors.
Overall, I’ve really missed having a Japanese curry spot in San Diego so I’m happy to see one available again. I’m looking forward to when the restaurant expands its menu and hours.
Zen Curry San Diego
7309 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111
How does the flavor of the curry compare to Izakaya Sakura?
Well, it looks promising. I’ve never had oysters and curry before. Might need to check it out this weekend. 🙂
Hope you give it a try! I haven’t been to Sakura in quite a while, so I don’t know how the curry flavor compares.