Friday, November 4, 2011

Curry Up Now - KKKRAZZY Wings Rice Bowl

It was a cold, damp and windy night in the Upper Haight last night, which made my choice of food somewhat easy. I wanted hot and spicy, something that would help me banish the never-ending chill that I had had all day. I found myself at one of my old favorites, Curry Up Now, debating whether or not I should order the Butter Chicken Burrito, which I always enjoy. However, a new special called the KKKRAZZY Rice Bowl caught my eye, and after a few seconds contemplation, I decided that despite the outlandish spelling it was worth a try.

I think the first really cold night of the season drove some people away from Off the Grid, because the lines were pretty short, and there were plenty of empty seats as late as 7 o'clock. A few people waited with me at Curry Up Now, however, and the girls behind me were quite vocal in trying to decide what to try. It's not like me to be quiet, so eventually I had to put in my two cents when the final two choices were between the Sexy Fries and the Tikka Masala Burrito, both of which I have had and liked. I told her the burrito was great if she liked spicy, and that seemed to seal the deal for her. So to the girl behind me in line—if you are reading this—I hope I didn't steer you wrong!

 My love of Indian food surely sways my feelings about Curry Up Now, but overall I can't say there has ever been anything I have tried that I didn't like. I was going to ask them about the specifics of the KKKRAZZY Rice Bowl, but decided to just throw caution to the wind and order it. Now that's crazy! First, I must point out that the service tonight was incredibly quick. Yes, the lines were a bit shorter, but I noticed that tonight the food came out only minutes after placing the order and from the same window. There was no waiting at the second window at all, at least while I was there. So from order time to pick-up it was roughly 3 minutes, and I walked away with my box in hand.

The KKKRAZZY rice bowl is a bit crazy...crazy spicy, that is! Curry Up Now has taken their Tikka Masala out of the burrito and made it it's own stand-alone dish, and then topped it with four fried tandoori chicken wings. I chose chicken for my Tikka, but you can also order the KKKRAZY Rice Bowl with paneer. The portion of Tikka is quite large, and it's served on a bed of basmati rice. The Tikka is almost the same as it is in the burrito, though I think it seems more spicy with the absence of the tortilla! The heat fills up your mouth, jumps down your throat, and lingers long after your bite is finished. But it's not the kind of spice that kills the flavor of the food; here it's the perfect finish on a wonderfully flavored dish. The sauce is creamy and slightly sweet, and it's just saucy enough to coat the chicken and rice without drowning them. The chicken is a combination of both white and dark meat, which is a nice variant to switch up the texture. The one difference between the burrito and the rice bowl is the omission of chickpeas.

Four fried Tandoori chicken wings rounded out my rice bowl, served sitting atop my Tikka. What I loved about these was that the spiciness was so mild, it seemed the exact opposite of the Tikka. They were a great counter-balance to the intense heat, but they were still very aromatic. They were not greasy, as wings could be, and they had a certain crisp to them that was just delightful. Though tonight's dish was a special, I hope they consider adding the wings as a permanent menu item.

There is a definite reason that Curry Up Now has consistently some of the longest lines at wherever their truck is parked, and that is because of the quality and originality of their food. Plus, their menu never gets stale. They always offer the tried and true favorites, but continually change it up by creating new and exciting dishes. Thank you, Curry Up Now, for helping me stay warm in the chilly Autumn air, and I am definitely crazy for the KKKRAZZY Rice Bowl!

Rating: 4/5 (ratings guide)

Curry Up Now (@Curryupnow) $9.00 for one rice bowl

Curry Up Now Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Does reading this make you want to try this vendor? Tell them that you saw them at I Left My Cart in San Francisco and support San Francisco street cuisine!

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