Namu Gaji recommended by Culinary Guide, Madeline Minor
Ever since my return from Japan I’ve been craving okonomiyaki, a Kyoto-created savory pancake that varies from region to region. It’s hard to just ‘discover’ in your neighborhood, but the Mission happens to be THE place to find variety with a local touch. When the hankering hit, a quick search sent me to Namu Gaji in San Francisco’s Mission District, a tried and true Korean locale that has a solid spot in Eater SF’s 38 essential restaurants.
The Place: With a winning staff, a classy casual vibe, fantastic food, and a perfect people watching view of Dolores Park, Namu Gaji is definitely a jewel.
The Dish: Okonomiyaki is one of the top three things ordered at Namu Gaji, and rightfully so. With kimchee as a primary Korean influence on this traditionally Japanese dish, this combination of styles creates a delicious flavor all its own, but without changing the traditional into something completely different. Cabbage, yamaimo, and oyster, bonito on top for salt, kewpie mayo to make you smile, and voila, a modern classic to satisfy your foodie fantasies. Washed down with a smooth shochu to balance the slight heat, you’ll be counting the days til you’re back. I see they’ve got a chicken ramen on the menu…
Key ingredients: Cabbage, Bonito, oysters, yamaimo, kewpie mayo
Address: 499 Dolores Street, Mission District, San Francisco
Phone: (415) 431-6268
Hours: Closed Mondays
Tuesday-Friday 11:30AM–3PM, 5–10PM
Saturday and Sunday 10:30AM–4PM, 5–10PM