Curry Up Now Opens on Valencia With an Expanded Menu
It's inevitable that success would lead to brick-and-mortar spots, but the wildly popular food truck empire Curry Up Now has already opened a third location (and first in S.F.) in the right ventricle of the Gourmet Ghetto, on Valencia between 17th and 18th streets.
Pete Kane Lamb kathi roll at the new Curry Up Now on Valencia.
Having expanded on the four-wheeled offerings, Curry Up Now features deconstructed samosas as well as other brilliantly inauthentic creations like Sexy Fries (sweet potato fries with cheese, onions and one of seven protein toppings) and the open-faced Naughty Naan sandwiches. Street food fans shouldn't overlook the vada pav, a lentil patty between thick buns that came across as a beguiling donut. Up and down the menu, vegetarian and gluten-free options abound. This is 2013 San Francisco, distilled.
A paneer "un-burger" got high marks all around, as did a papdi chaat that felt like an Indian version of mild nachos, with yogurt sauce for sour cream over tamarind and quinoa. (Curiously, quinoa seems to garnish a whole lot of things). But after sampling a lamb kathi roll, an Indian-American friend exclaimed, "I would take my parents here!"
Pete Kane Sexy fries.
Not only are there housemade lassis--mint, mango and rose--but they aerate in those clear rectangular soft drink cases you remember from the mall. And the Indian buffet dessert standby that is gulab jamun with kulfi is called "Hot Balls on Ice."
Curry Up Now's menu board is about as vibrant as informational signage can get without frying your synapses. It's also thirty feet away from where you order. While it's hard to fault anyone for stylish graphic aspirations, we can imagine a line forming out the door as people squint from the visual overload. Don't fret, hungry patrons! It won't ever drive away.
Curry Up Now, 659 Valencia St., (650) 477-1001.
Follow Pete Kane at @wannacyber