A well-traveled dish, curry has enjoyed a history of global exposure. The British Navy discovered the South Asian spiced stew during their rule of India in the mid-19th century. They later brought curry to the Japanese in the early 1900s. Just as the British sailors loved curry, the Japanese people grew to, as well, and today curry enjoys recognition as a national dish in Japan.

Kobe Curry in Mountain View serves a short menu of curries and handful of Japanese small plates. The restaurant, which currently serves a weekly special, also advertises that guests can expect new menu items.

Situated among several other busy restaurants along Castro Street, Kobe Curry operates from several patio tables in front of Shabuway. A folding blackboard on the sidewalk serves as the restaurant’s only signage and it can be very easy to walk past the eatery without realizing it.

Kobe Curry makes their signature curry with aged Kobe and Angus beef the restaurant sources direct from Niman Ranch, which abstains from using hormones. The curry is available plain with rice ($8) or with chicken cutlet, pork cutlet, sausage or beef ($9.50).

The gyoza and Japanese fried chicken were tasty small plates—perfect alongside a light Japanese beer such as an Asahi. My order of gyoza was pan fried to a perfect crisp on one side, yet disappointingly overly cooked and chewy on the other. The fried chicken arrived with the surprising companions of lemon wedges and spiced mayo—both added an enjoyable kick of flavor.

The curry, available mild or hot, was a blend of the familiar smoky spice one would expect with Indian food. The hearty sauce is stewed with mushrooms and bites of tender Kobe beef. The beef did have a distinct, deep flavor one would expect from high-quality meat. I enjoyed the breaded chicken cutlet which arrived as a generous portion across a bowl of rice—the curry served on the side to be poured over the dish. Crunchy on the outside yet tender inside, the chicken strips were delicious for dipping into the spicy curry stew. Served alongside the cutlet, a garnish of pickled radishes and onions added a surprisingly sweet crunch to the dish.

Unfortunately, the popular green tea crème brûlée was no longer available on the night I visited but this leaves me with a good incentive to return next time I have a craving for curry.