Curry Up Now Oakland Review: Not Your Average Indian Fare

I've been a fan of Curry Up Now since they launched their food truck sometime in 2009. I was hooked the moment I took my first bite into their chicken tikka masala burrito. When I heard they were opening a location in Oakland, I was beyond excited. 

Patrick and I went to check out the new spot for lunch and had a bomb ass feast. It's located in Uptown at the corner of 18th Street and San Pablo Ave, next to music venue The New Parish. The spot is spacious and looks really cool, yet minimalist and modern. I love the bright natural lighting coming from windows. 

The food at Curry Up Now is not your average Indian fare. You'll find a variety of dishes with creative twists that stay true to bold, authentic Indian flavors. 

The "Death by Tikka Masala" Thali plate is insanely delicious, a must order. It comes with tikka masala chicken (which I highly recommend substituting for butter chicken instead), chana masala, and paneer tikka masala with turmeric rice, papadum, fluffy naan, root pickles and pico kachumber. 

I've never had anything like the Indian Railway Cutlet before. It is schnitzel-like patty of fried maggi masala noodles with vegetables. It's kind of like a patty of fried ramen noodles, very interesting texture and flavor that we really enjoyed and would definitely get again. 

The vada pav at Curry Up Now is the best I've had. It's a perfectly seasoned mashed potato fritter that's sandwiched between an Amul buttered bun with garlic chutney and a dust of seasoning. I love the lightly fried coating that reminds me of the same crispy shell as a dim sum taro puff. 

And to end our fantastic meal, we had the fennel crepes with cardamom whipped cream. They're kind of like thin dense pancakes in a light sugary syrup. Very tasty!

Even though I was super stuffed at the end of the meal, the food was so good that I wanted to eat more! 

Thanks again for having us over, Curry Up Now! A very big welcome to Oakland. We look forward to coming back. 


Visiting Curry Up Now Oakland

Location

1745 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

Phone

510.858.7475

Menu

http://www.curryupnow.com/menuoak

Hours

  • Monday-Sunday 11am-9pm

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My Favorite Moments: Winter Fancy Food Show 2017 Review

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Winter Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. It was my first year going and I had a blast. If you're not familiar, this is the kind of event that food lovers like myself dream of. Imagine walking through what seems like endless aisles of food from all over the world and sampling to your heart's desire.

About 1,400 producers show up at this event to connect with buyers and showcase their new products to press. From epic cheese spreads and charcuterie to all the sweets you can possibly imagine, this is the place to be to discover the hottest new products, producers, and trends of 2017. 

I met up with Mindy who writes the wonderful food and lifestyle blog Oishii Moments. We spent 7 hours together talking to producers and sampling so much food to the point where we started wobbling down the aisles and drinking matcha shots just to keep up! 

Here are few of my favorite moments and bites:

Enjoy the slideshow of photos below.

Thank you so much for having me, Specialty Food Association! I can't wait until next year's event.

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Da Nang Quan Review: Central Vietnamese Food in Oakland

My entire life I've been fortunate to have access to the most amazing home cooked Vietnamese food made by my mom. There's nothing like a steamy hot bowl of bun bo hue, a spicy lemongrass beef noodle soup with beef shank, pork roll, congealed pork blood, and pork leg/feet.

There's no other bun bo hue that can compare to my mom's version. I can load up my bowl with an unlimited variety of meats, in addition to a side bowl of all the pork feet I could ever dream of gnawing on. And she makes this awesome lemongrass chili paste that's loaded with pieces of crispy pork fat that goes with the bun bo hue. But let's be real, I can't visit her every single time I want Vietnamese food. Thankfully Oakland offers a few good places that helps to alleviate the cravings. 

Da Nang Quan at 615 E 12th Street in Oakland has been around for about two years and is one of the places I enjoy eating at that offers some unique central Vietnam dishes that you normally can't find at just any Vietnamese restaurant. I've visited a few times and sometimes the food is really freakin' good, other times it has been mediocre and disappointing. They suck on being consistent, but it is a place that I still visit because even their mediocre bowl of bun bo hue outweighs most of the other bowls offered in the area - plus they're one of the only few places that offers full meaty bone-in pork leg/feet and spoon dropped pork paste. 

When their bun bo hue is at its best, you can clearly taste the rich and concentrated beef stock and flavors of lemongrass. It's served with a side of traditional veggies: cabbage, banana blossom, mint, rau ram, and bean sprouts. There's also a side of grey shrimp paste to add into the broth for that extra layer of umami. 

Their banh beo makes a great appetizer, much different than the banh beo I grew up with. Small rice flour cakes are topped with ground shrimp with a paste texture, along with ground pork, fried shallots and peanuts. I love spooning over the fish sauce into each banh beo dish and scooping out the thin layer of rice cake.  

Da Nang Quan doesn't offer the best bun rieu I've had in Oakland, but this was good compared to most. Their bowls are loaded with tomatoes, fried broth-soaked tofu, crab and pork meatballs, pork roll, and congealed pork blood. A touch of grey ground shrimp paste is a must to elevate their bun rieu broth, which can be a teensy bit bland. But remember, as with most Vietnamese broths, you are encouraged to use chillis and condiments to flavor it as you prefer.    

Da Nang Quan is definitely a great option for Central Vietnamese eats and I'd highly recommend checking it out if you're in Oakland. 


Visiting Da Nang Quan

Location

615 E. 12th St., Oakland, CA 94606

Phone

(510) 268-1368

Website

http://www.danangquancuisine.com/

Hours

  • MONDAY - WEDNESDAY: 9AM — 8PM

  • THURSDAY: CLOSED

  • FRIDAY - SUNDAY: 9AM — 8PM

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