Hole In the Wall: Curry Hut Is a Coed Nirvana

Between downtown, the barrios and the Korean enclaves around Brookhurst and Euclid streets, Fullerton's dining scene has always been one of the better ones in OC. But there was a glaring exception: the area around Cal State Fullerton. I still remember the days when the best options were Genghis Khan Mongolian BBQ, a Thai joint, and some crappy fish-and-chips place. And, sure, the majority of Titans are commuters who eat elsewhere, but it was sad to see the lack of a true college dining scene around the campus, a place where students could embrace multiculturalism without being subjected to lectures about white privilege and micro-aggressions.

But in the past couple of years, the main arteries leading to CSUF—State College Boulevard and Chapman and Yorba Linda avenues—have experienced a boom in great restaurants. State College now has many fast-casual options à la Chipotle and DIY pizza alongside Genghis Khan and ABC Indo Mart; Yorba Linda is turning into a mini-Little Tokyo with the opening of a Honda Ya and Mr. Katsu last year. And it's on Chapman that you'll find the area's first good Indian restaurant in Curry Hut. You could place it on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley or in any Ivy League town because here is coed cuisine to the max: tiny dining room, flat-screen TVs tuned to gaudy Bollywood dramas, and a six-item buffet that constitutes the day menu. There's also a more permanent one listing the restaurant's lush biryanis, succulent tandoor meets, floppy naans, and crunchy pakoras and samosas (the samosas, in particular, can double as a cannonball in a pinch, so dense and epic they are).

But almost everyone goes for the one-, two- or three-item combo. It's in these combos that Curry Hut's cooks shine. I've had everything from spinach to cheese entrées, from curries to a goat stew that would make Mexicans weep. The lassis are silky; dessert comes either via gulab jamun or the freezer stocked with subcontinental popsicles. And Curry Hut knows its core audience: students can qualify for a discount that entitles them to three meals per day at $10—hell, even the Habit directly across from campus can't compete with that!

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