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Walnut Creek Magazine

Popular Curry Up Now Brings its Indian Street Food to Oakland

Mar 04, 2017 08:58AM ● By Fran Miller

Those who follow the Bay Area food truck scene are likely familiar with the bright pink and orange Curry Up Now rig. Fanatics follow its location on twitter, and track its daily whereabouts in order to secure their Tikka Masala burrito fix. Regularly parked in SF’s Financial District during weekday lunch hours, its tremendous popularity has led owners Akash and Rana Kapoor to appease the masses with several brick and mortar restaurants that allow for easy and ready access to their delicious ‘deconstructed’ Indian street food classics. With locations in Palo Alto, San Mateo, San Francisco, and San Jose, it was only natural that they make their way to a community that matches the vibrancy of their dishes. Located at 1745 San Pablo Avenue, adjacent to The New Parish entertainment venue in Uptown Oakland, the new restaurant has found a perfect home.

"I always welcome the opportunity to share my vision of tasty, convenient, affordable dining with an engaged foodie community,” says Akash. “In this spirit, what could be more appropriate than opening in Oakland." The 1,800 square foot industrial chic venue, designed by Stephanie Batties of Right Touch Designs, includes indoor and sidewalk seating. Its wicker and wood finishes, tile work, ceiling fans, and colorful portraits from Rajasthan evoke an Old Calcutta aesthetic. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner with late night hours accommodating New Parish events. 

The menu includes all the favorites to which its food truck followers have become addicted, such as the iconic Tikka Masala burrito and the deconstructed Samosa. But you’ll be missing out if you don’t venture beyond to try other quintessential street food items. If ‘paneer,’ ‘aloo gobi,’ and ‘chaat,’ are not part of your comestible lexicon, the patient counter staff is happy to walk you through each dish to describe Bhel Puri (puffed rice, potato garbanzo mash, cucumber), Vada Pav (mashed potato fritter sandwiched between an Amul buttered bun), and Pav Bhaji (a Mumbai street Bhaji mash of cauliflower, beans, carrots, potatoes and peas). New to the menu are Kofta Fauja Singh (chicken or lamb kofta meatballs), Indian Railway Cutlet (schnitzel-like cutlet of crumb fried maggi masala noodle and veggies with Sriracha aioli) and Kababpav (chicken or lamb kofta meatballs on a Amul buttered bun with onions, chutney, hot sauce and chips). Don’t miss the Naughty Naan (flatbread naan, cheese, caramelized onions, shaved jalapeño and organic greens) and Sexy Fries (criss cut sweet potato fries, cheese, with either chicken or paneer tikka masala, vegan, beef, or lamb) plus many vegan and gluten-free choices. Prices run between $5.50 and $15.00 and portions are plentiful. The dine-in menu is available for take-out and off-premise catering is a specialty of the house.

Natural, organic ingredients are used whenever possible. Their chicken, beef, and lamb are Halal, naturally raised, hormone, and antibiotic-free. Their eggs come from cage-free hens, and they use farm fresh, locally sourced produce. Disposal and waste are limited with their use of real plates, cups, and silverware. Among the choices of self-serve libations are Ginger Mint Lemonade and house made lassis including Mango Lassi, Mint Mango Lassi, and Rose Mango Lassi. Select beers and wines, often California sourced, are offered, along with a sangria bar.

Curry Up Now: 1745 San Pablo Avenue at 18th  St., Oakland

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