Sri-Lankan (yes, Sri-Lankan) in Reseda.
Curiosity does build over time. It’s not always rewarded, but…
I had been passing Curry Leaf for years on the way to my Doctor. Every time I’d see it, I’d make a promise to get around to doing a review of it.
The first thing you should know about the place is that it’s small. Not uncomfortably small, but somehow smaller than it’s outside size would suggest. It also serves as a part market. Let me stress the “part” part of that “part market”, in that there is a self toward the back containing some Sri Lankan Groceries to take home with you if you know what you’re doing.
Other than that, it was a standard Lunch Buffet. It was a Sri Lankan (not an Indian) Buffet, but a Lunch Buffett nonetheless.
Now, I’ve got to say, especially since I’ve rallied to the defense of Waiters and Waitresses in recent weeks, that the crew at Curry Leaf wasn’t exactly the most responsive bunch I’ve been around. They weren’t rude or anything. Quite the contrary, the limited contact that we had was always cheerful and welcoming.
But it was limited. Way limited.
I walked in, sat down, and felt…from that point, I had to fend for myself. It’s a little unnerving. Granted, we should all know by now how to work with a Lunch buffet. 1) Step up to Buffett, 2) Serve self, etc. And I’ve always found the little instructional talk every restaurant gives you somewhat odd…
…until it wasn’t given.
All of the sudden, it makes total sense.
You go into a restaurant, and there’s just a part of the human psyche that sees it as going into someone’s home. Granted, it’s a business. They’re here for your money, just as you’re there for their food. It’s a transaction that we all get, but that one element of invitation, of welcoming, that one little homey touch makes a lot of bit of difference. I just didn’t know how much until I went to Curry Leaf.
For the most part, the Staff stood back, talking to themselves for most of my meal. It was almost like they were shy. Which is too damn bad, because the food was good and there was a lot to talk about.
Like what is this, and what am I having that was so good.
Hey, it was my first time having Sri Lankan food ever. What did you expect me to ask?
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I am almost loathe to suggest, since this was a Lunch Buffett, and this was (as I just said), my first experience with Sri Lankan Food. I’m sure the Buffett may vary just a little from day to day, while offering some bedrock choices that will be there no matter what.
There were some string beans, as well as a Lentil Dish that were both quite good. This is a restaurant that does serve meat, both Chicken and Beef (or was it Lamb) were among the offerings. One of my few interactions with the staff came when he noticed that I was eating only the vegetarian options. I told him it wasn’t my intent to go Vegetarian that day, but I did because I wanted to squeeze in as many different offerings as possible.
See? I told you they were nice. Just standoffish.
If I’m coming across a little uncertain, it’s that…the day I was there, nothing was labeled…at least not that day, so I had no idea what the name of these dishes were. So I don’t know if that was a one day thing, or something they do all the time. But it’s hard to drag about the food when I don’t know what it is.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just don’t be put off by some of the…oddities about this restaurant (standoffish staff, unlabeled food). The food is really good…and really spicy as well. Be prepared for some heat.
PARKING: Easy enough for the most part. Curry Leaf sits at the end of a small strip mall complex, which has it’s own parking. You should be able to snag a space pulling up, but that might be all that’s available. Other than that, I don’t know. Curry Leaf is surrounded by a lot of Apartment Complexes, and while there is a lot of street parking, a lot of it seems to be taken up on any given day.
Curry Leaf (Reseda)
17734 Sherman Way
Reseda, CA 91335
Tel: (818) 881-1602
Sunday-Thursday: 8:00am – 9:00pm
Friday-Saturday: 8:00am – 10:00pm