In my semi-yearly search for Sri Lankan in LA, I came upon the recently opened Kurrypinch in Van Nuys. Walking inside, it’s hard to expect much. The place is tiny (think four tables) and the pastry case was completely empty.
The menu is a bit more concise than most of the Lankan places in the southland, which I have to imagine is a good thing. The only things that I think you can get on a daily basis is rice and curry, kottu roti, and pol roti, plus some basic grilled meats. Oh, and maybe some short eats too, though I stupidly didn’t try to order them because I didn’t see any in the pastry case.
Lamprais for sure has to be ordered in advance, and it looks like biriyani also needs to be. I’m guessing they are doing mainly to-go business right now. Everything was served in to-go containers which is obviously not ideal… No plates in sight.
Everything (and I mean everything) is cooked to order. When we were there on a Tuesday, the only meat they had was chicken. Lamb supposedly would have taken an hour. I didn’t ask about fish.
Anyway, we got a veggie rice and curry, a chicken kottu roti, a chicken rice and curry, and pol roti with chicken. It took 45 minutes to get out food, and we were one of two tables in the restaurant, so either order takeout or be willing to relax. Wait aside, the food was really damn good. The kottu roti was pretty perfect, filling and playful without being too heavy and oily which is no small task. Half the time I ordered this in Sri Lanka, it was overwhelmingly rich.
Rice and curry was also a standout. There were well-prepared beets, delicious potatoes, nice caramelized onions, a good helping of daal, and a delicious and moist chicken curry. (plus some green beans perhaps? I forget, this was my friend’s.) This also came with pappadam. As with a lot of Sri Lankan food, this wasn’t overwhelmingly spicy, but definitely carried a nice sneaking heat.
The pol roti meal came with your choice of meat (again, chicken because that’s all they had) plus a complex seeni sambal, daal, a spicy, very smoky sambal (think a Mexican dry salsa) and fantastic pol roti that had clearly been baked fresh because it came out steaming hot.
Oh, and the wattalapan was delicious and quite cardamom-y too. And very affordable at three dollars.
I’ve a decent amount of experience with Sri Lankan food (have spent some 45-odd days there in the past few years) and this held up really darn well. The only slight miss was a kinda watery daal (even more so than Sri Lankan daal typically is) but the flavor profile on it was perfect so I didn’t care too much.
I’ve not eaten at Apey Kade or Rice n’ Spice (shame on me) so I can’t really compare Kurrypinch to those spots, but this definitely seems like the kind of place that is worth a visit if you’re craving Sri Lankan (or just something new) and are in the valley.
Everything is halal, by the way. Does anybody know if cuttlefish is halal? If it is, I’m going to contact them and see if they can make some hot butter cuttlefish, which is to my knowledge the best bar food ever invented. I will report back if they do.