One of the only good things about working in the Bryant Park/Times Square area is the fact that the neighborhood has two better-than-average kati roll shops that sit three blocks apart from each other: The Kati Roll Company on 39th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, and Kati Junction on 40th Street near Seventh Avenue. The former was the first to plant its tikka-rubbed flag in Midtown, and the latter is just a shameless, literal knock-off of the other restaurant — right down to the dishes, names, and numbers on the menu.
But now, The Kati Roll Company has a leg up on the competition, because its rival was just shuttered by the DOH. That ugly yellow sign currently hangs in the window as well as fliers indicating that the shop is simply undergoing some renovations. According to the DOH website, during an inspection on June 1, Kati Junction racked up 51 violation points — enough for an automatic closure — including four critical violations related to vermin, filth flies, and improper storage of raw food. Yuck. Earlier today, a few employees were sweeping up inside the restaurant, but nobody's picking up the phone right now.
As you may recall, The Kati Roll Company tried to slap a trademark infringement lawsuit against its fast-casual enemy last August. But right up to the minute that it was shuttered by the DOH, Kati Junction was still doing business with the same name/branding/menu that it had last summer, suggesting that the restaurant won't go down without a fight. The food at both restaurants tastes exactly the same, but for the moment, at least, the Kati Roll Company is the king of smallish Indian wraps in this part of town.