Curry ZEN: Fresh and expertly cooked

The Pork Katsu Curry ($9.45) contained warm tender meat atop delectable rice and flavor packed curry.

7835 South Rainbow Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89139
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Only a short distance from school, a new restaurant opened its doors to the public on Jan. 21: Curry ZEN. While the establishment may be easy to overlook when driving by, their amazing food is worth stopping for.

As soon as my guest and I arrived in the empty restaurant, our ears perked up at the sound of a friendly Japanese greeting; a language which you might find to be a common occurrence during your meal. Although there is not a large amount of space, the tables are spaced nicely and contributes to the feel of a more open area. We ordered our meals at the counter, which flaunts their new menu items, as well as their usual choices. After seating ourselves, it was only a short ten minute wait for our orders to arrive.

I ordered the Chicken Katsu Curry ($8.95) with corn ($0.50) and vegetables ($2) for my toppings. While the word “curry” may be intimidating to those with palates sensitive to spice such as myself, ZEN allows you to choose from a spiciness scale of 1-10. I ordered a level 1, which was very mild, but still left a savory tingle on my tongue. It was the ideal balance of spice and curry flavor, while the crunchy chicken katsu provided a textured contrast for the meal. The white rice was piping hot and I found I had to take a minute to let the food cool down before I could dig in.

At first, biting into the chicken katsu flooded my mouth with heat. However, once I got over the temperature, I was able to taste the meatiness of the chicken along with the salty, yet also sweet, curry drizzled on top of it. Between bites of the chicken I ate forkfuls of warm, soft rice and curry covered vegetables, which ended up being slightly overpowered by the opposing flavors in the dish.

The Pork Katsu Curry ($9.45) contained warm tender meat atop delectable rice and flavor packed curry.
The Pork Katsu Curry ($9.45) contained warm tender meat atop delectable rice and flavor packed curry.
Photo Credit: Althea Gevero

My guest ordered the Pork Katsu ($9.45) with corn and vegetables as well. ZEN’s meals come in handy to-go containers which can hold the hefty, filling portions.The pork was cooked to a pleasing, chewy tenderness and complemented the smooth curry well. While the vegetables are a fresh and nice addition to the meals, I would have preferred a larger amount for the price of $2.

Both meals were large and my guest and I were unable to finish them even with our voracious appetites.

As far as decor is concerned, Curry ZEN has a simple color scheme and minimal furnishings, leaving some walls glaringly blank. Though the establishment is on the smaller side, it makes use of the space it has without overcrowding any areas. While my guest and I were there for a little under an hour, the restaurant slowly but surely filled up with patrons, making for a cozy feel.

While I was not sure what to expect when entering the quaint establishment, I now have a new restaurant to recommend to friends who enjoy warm and tasty eats. The workers made me feel welcome and are friendly and personable, while also eager to help with anything you might need. For those who would like a flavorful, inexpensive and quality meal, Curry ZEN is the perfect spot.