One of our coworker friends who lives in our old neighborhood of Westchester told us about a new place that opened up in the area, Humble Potato. This place boasts American comfort food with a Japanese kick. I was hooked at the mention of curry fries. The Japanese version of poutine? Sure!
The Cat Wrangler was game to try it as well since he likes Japanese curry, one of the few Asian foods he actually enjoys as opposed to just barely tolerating it. Yeah, I’m married to a white guy who isn’t that into Asian cuisine. Don’t ask how our marriage survives… or what he eats at my family gatherings. So for dinner on a Saturday, we headed over with the kidlet. The place wasn’t too packed; turns out, we ended up just beating the crowd because a line formed out the door shortly after we ordered. Lucky Cat was smiling on us that night.
I have to comment on the decor because, if you’re a fan of Japanese pop culture (anything ranging from old monster movies to Harajuku), this place is pretty neat. There’s a hodgepodge of murals on the wall, figurines and even the order markers are cutesy cool. Hadoken!
Food-wise, this place was sugoi (Japanese for “great”). CW went with the Katsu Sando ($8.50) sans the yuzu jalapeno slaw, curry sauce added ($1 extra). I didn’t know what to get; the waitress at the order
register iPad recommended the Battle Royale burger ($8.95) so I went with that without the exploding collar… (Battle Royale reference for those not familiar with the book/movie. And, of course, we got curry fries ($3.50).
The fries arrived first and just the way I like, crispy on the outside, fluffy-hot on the inside. The curry had little chunks of veggies, a whole lot of flavor and some heat from jalapenos. The kidlet was raging for grub at this point so I let him have some. Either my kid’s got mad tolerance for spiciness or I’m weak cuz he chowed down without a single indication this was too hot for him. Yeah, baby! Also, I discovered after the fact you can order it with a fried egg on top… How did I miss this?!?!? Actually, you can put a fried egg on most if not all the items here… Egg slut heaven!
When the rest of our food arrived, I was impressed with the size of the sandwiches. American comfort portions with Japanese restraint. In other words, you’ll be stuffed but you won’t need to be rolled out of there. The chicken katsu cutlet in CW’s order was lightly breaded, fried to a perfect crispness, and not heavy on grease. My burger was a monstrosity that had to be tackled with a knife and fork. An Angus beef patty cooked medium/medium-well, topped with a fried egg, avocado, shredded romaine, tomato, onion, bacon and their spicy HP sauce on a soft toasted bun… You can get cheese for a $1 extra; I opted for Pepper Jack. The avocado helped tame the HP sauce for me. I fed bites to Kidlet and he was enthusiastic about it with the exception of the lettuce which he promptly spat out. I blame his father for that one. My child WILL eat vegetables, his father’s bad eating habits be damned!
There was a bit of lag between getting our fries and our burgers and Kidlet was not happy (ill-prepared mama did not bring snacks) so I made CW order another batch of fries, this time the shichimi & garlic parmesan fries ($3.75). Shichimi is a Japanese red pepper powder, FYI. I didn’t really see any on our fries, which ended up arriving after we had finished our food. Between the large number of orders and the two cooks, I’m guessing the kitchen fell a little behind. I didn’t mind the slow service too much though since our food came out freshly made and was delicious. We ended up being too full to finish the fries and ended up taking them home.
I actually woke up the next morning wanting to go back and get the Katsu Sando (with the slaw AND egg, of course) and more curry fries (with egg) but CW vetoed that suggestion. I think I may force him to go back this weekend… And I’m willing to use Kidlet to manipulate him into agreeing. “But, honey, your child really likes this place and he needs to eat!” Also, it was pretty friendly on the wallet.
4 NOMs for Humble Potato!
8321 Lincoln Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Monday – Friday: 11:30a – 10:00p
Saturday – Sunday: 12:00p – 10:00p