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A Reluctant Taste of Japanese Curry

Curry-ya exterior3Gloria Chung Curry-Ya, 214 East 10th Street.

I don’t like Japanese food. What’s worse, I suspect that I like not liking Japanese food.

Still, here I am in a neighborhood rife with Japanese restaurants, grocery stores, sake bars and, at least in the evenings, young people. In jaunts along East 10th Street between Second and First Avenue, I had often noticed a string of Japanese restaurants along the south side. I had a dim recollection that one of them included in its name a word with which I had positive food associations. When I returned to the block last week, there it was — Curry-Ya (214 East 10th Street). I adore Indian food. Maybe this would be Indo-Japanese.

Curry-Ya is a brightly lit, scrupulously neat place with a counter and a dozen or so wooden stools. I asked the young woman behind the counter if the curry was like Indian curry. She wasn’t sure. “Indian curry is like soup, yes?” Sort of, I said. She suggested we order the Berkshire Pork Cutlet Curry, which was everybody’s favorite. We did. A breaded pork chop, along with a beautifully mounded hillock of rice, came with a gravy boat. This was the curry. I would have called it gravy, though I recognize that I might not have walked into a restaurant called Gravy-Ya.
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