Until several years ago, I had never eaten curry. No Indian curry, no Vietnamese curry, no Japanese curry. To me, curry was a scary food – too spicy, weird flavors. Or at least, that’s what I thought… I hadn’t ever had a taste, so how could I know?
One weekend, Son and his friends decided to go to a Japanese curry house. I reluctantly went along and shared a plate of curry with him. Unfortunately, I wasn’t yet convinced that curry was a food I could love. It wasn’t until several years later, when my tastes had widened considerably, that I fell in love with the food. Now I’ll go out of my way to eat or make curry – whether it be Vietnamese curry, Indian curry, or especially Japanese curry.
When I looked up restaurants to try over here in Hawaii, the Coco Ichibanya Curry House was one that jumped out at me. It is a small Japanese curry house, which got rave reviews on Yelp. After spending the morning at Pearl Harbor (where it rained on us! Bah. It’s not supposed to rain in Hawaii!), we decided curry was in order. Oh man, we are not regretting that decision one bit.
We went to the Ala Moana Center to find the curry house. It’s at the edge of a food court, so at first you’re not sure if it’s the right place. Very small, it does have a tiny counter to eat at – I recommend trying to get a seat at the counter, because the rest of the food court was packed the entire time we were there. The counter was not crowded at all, and you got to watch the cooks preparing the food right in front of you.
Son got the spicy clam and wakame curry, while I got the fried chicken and gyoza curry. Son adored his spicy, savory, flavorful curry – he got very close to licking the plate clean. For seafood lovers, he highly recommends this curry.
Unfortunately, I don’t have nearly the stomach capacity that he has. I barely managed to down half of my plate before declaring the rest would be tomorrow’s breakfast. The gyoza was amazingly good – curry goes extremely well with crispy foods. I easily finished all of the gyoza. The fried chicken… not something I’d get again. It seemed bland… the curry was still delicious, but I definitely preferred the gyoza.
There is only one thing I can’t stand about the curry house. They only have restaurants in Hawaii! That means that back in California… no Coco Ichibanya Curry House for me. Sad indeed.
After lunch: a nap, a walk along the beach, and then an amazing dinner! Want to read about our dinner? See my post on Sushi Day.