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On the way back from errands on Saturday, I spotted a parking space on Fillmore @ Pixley. Never one to ignore a parking opportunity in a popular neighborhood, I grabbed it and then looked around for where I might lunch outdoors on this sunny day.
Shake Shack, Balboa Cafe, not for me. On the other side of Lombard Street, the two-month old, first US location of Japan’s Hinoya chain has been attracting attention. I checked it out.
Ordering is at the counter inside. My order was ready in exactly 8 minutes as promised. I did have to go inside to pick it up myself at the counter.
Though a few tables inside, I opted for a two-top on the sidewalk sitting far from the only other occupants. Situated with my back against the wall, I could see anyone approaching on the roadside.
SF original kara age curry is a bargain at $15 with three full-size chicken thighs. The beef stock-based curry sauce was very good, setting up heavier and thicker than the local shops and without the fruity tones. The roux is imported from Japan. Kind of a middle of the road style with some heat that starts to register after the fourth or so mouthful. A vegan version of the curry is also available - 20 orders per day.
Boneless, skin-on thighs were moist of flesh with a light and crisp batter that does soften under the saucing. The panko-crusted oyster was perfect and juicy under the greaseless frilly coat. The first bite, unadorned, was better than the second with the Heinz tartar sauce. And I was glad I hadn’t paid 50¢ for the pack that appeared on my tray. A squeeze of lemon would be just right with the kaki fry.
All in all, a fine showing. And more than I could eat for the first meal of the day. edit
Hinoya Curry SF
3347 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA
Currently open Thursday to Sunday
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