5 Things To Like About CoCo Ichibanya, West LA’s New Curry House
CoCo Ichibanya, the huge Japanese based curry chain with locations in Torrance and Irvine, has opened their first L.A. location on Santa Monica Blvd. btw. Bundy and Barrington in an old Rubio’s. Even though it’s listed as being in Brentwood, it feels closer to West L.A. which is already home to two pretty popular curry houses. And while CoCo Ichibanya is not good enough to replace Hurry Curry of Tokyo as my favorite katsu curry place on the west side, there are still a few things to like about this chain…
1. Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat- it’s better than Rubio’s Fish Tacos. In other words, I will take crummy Japanese fast food chains over crummy American fast food chains any day of the week. We can only hope that this trend starts to spread to other parts of the city.
2. It’s also cheaper than Hurry Curry of Tokyo, where a chicken katsu with rice, curry and salad costs a hefty $9.95, in comparison to CoCo Ichibanya’s $8.49. In fairness to Hurry Curry though, you don’t get salad at CoCo Ichibanya, unless you order a drink because…
3. You get a free mini salad with the purchase of any drink! Hard to argue with that.
4. Also the menu is huge and completely customizable. They not only have a ton of different meats and toppings, they have a seemingly endless list of spice options- ranging from mild, and regular, to a spicy option that is 24 times as spicy as the regular, whatever that means. They also have an Indian influenced “keema” curry, and a weird naan pizza option.
Toppings, and extra heat cost extra $$, as does adding extra rice. But they will also subtract money from your bill if you take less rice. That’s right carb-averse masses of Los Angeles. Try to contain your excitement, but CoCo Ichibanya will actually give you money back for being an Atkins/South Beach Diet freak. No amount of money could get me to take less rice, but I have a hunch this is going to be a pretty popular option here in L.A.
5. Finally, if you hate people around you taking photos of their food ask to get seated in the back part of the restaurant near the giant orange wall hanging. It makes the lighting completely terrible, and will serve as a pretty decent deterrent for surrounding food bloggers and Instagram addicts. Unless of course you’re with me, in which case you are suffering twice. Once while I took the photos, and again now as you’re forced to look at my terrible orange photos.
CoCo Ichibanya, 12007 Wilshire Blvd. 310-479-1333 menu