The Tenderloin area predominated by Indian-Pakistani restaurants will soon welcome a Japanese curry shop named Kare-Ken. Joining the city’s limited stock of Japanese curry places with Murracci’s, Volcano, and the JapaCurry truck.

The kitchen staff told me that they hope to open later this week. But delays have occurred before, so nothing is certain. The menu will feature curry with different meats and katsu, and prices are in the $8-$10 range.

Kare-Ken is located at 552 Jones Street, a few doors left from Shalimar and the popular Dottie’s True Blue Cafe. The tiny shop only has space for 8 stools inside (see pic below), so the majority of orders would be handled at the take out window.

The business name has no relation to Ken Ken Ramen. “Kare” (pronounced Ka-reh) is the word for curry in Japan (same in the Philippines and Indonesia, while in most of Southern Asia and China it’s pronounced “Kali” or “Kari”); and “Ken” means district or house, in Japanese. In other words, the name translates to House of Curry or Curry House.

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Photo Credit: Luis Chong