Namu Gaji

Too often, fusion foods misappropriate the story of the food's origin. Consequently, they become are a myriad of conflicting, instead of balanced, flavors. Every so often a fusion restaurant creates the perfect melody of cuisines between two different homelands. Namu Gaji hits that mark. Situated adjacent to Dolores Park in San Francisco's Mission District, it is also the perfect spot for people watching or a post-meal Bi-Rite ice cream. However, most people leave here stuffed with the savory flavors of Japanese and Korean cuisine offered here.

Stonepot with over 16 prepared market vegetables, kimchee, fried egg, koshihikari rice gochujang, and nori (seaweed). This is my favorite thing to order at Korean restaurants, and I always order it here as well. The raw egg cooks into the pot  as it is stirred around in the steaming vessel. The crunchy pickled condiments nicely contrast the supple tofu bits and runny egg. For the best results, let the rice at the bottom layer linger so that it transforms into a brown and crispy delight.

Soba salad with soba noodle, romaine, fried walnut, tofu, cucumber, kimchee, and sesame dressing. This is a refreshing cool dish to share alongside the scalding cast iron dishes. 

Okonomiyaki: A crispy and gooey savory pancake with kimchee, scallion, cabbage bonito, oko sauce, and kewpie may. The bonito fish flakes seem to come alive on top of the sizzling cast tray. Okonomiyaki is said to have originated from Osaka, Japan and must be tried at Namu Gaji.