gochi japanese tapas

For our two year, Dan took me to this place in the South Bay called Gochi. He had been raving it about it for weeks, but I made sure that every time he said something good about it, I ignored it or blocked it from my mind. I didn't want to be disappointed you see (yes, I am crazy).

I shouldn't have worried.

It's located in a nondescript strip mall, but the atmosphere completely changed once we stepped inside. The decor mimics a modern Zen garden, and the space opens into a raised seating area where you take off your shoes. To the side is an aisle with regular tables, and to the side of that are private tatami rooms. It was busy, and there were waitresses and hosts running around calling out orders in Japanese. We were seated in the regular table and chairs section, but I didn't mind, because I don't like taking off my shoes.

The menu is extensive. Don't be fooled by what they show online--that's only maybe an eighth of their menu! They have everything from traditional Japanese fare to super fusion-y food, like kimchi pizza. Dan and I opted for the more traditional options with a small twist.

We started with oyster shots and a seaweed salad. The oyster shots were by far the highlight of the meal. They dressed it with a citrus-y ponzu sauce and green onions and cilantro, etc, that made it so light and fresh tasting, and not heavy at all, as oysters are prone to taste. The seaweed salad was good too, but there was too much lettuce and not enough seaweed.

Next, they brought out our hamachi sashimi. The hamachi was good, also really refreshing (the lemons helped), and the texture wasn't quite melt in your mouth, but it was still good. (I think the best hamachi sashimi I've had was at Wayo, this little sushi place in SF.)

Then we had age nasu tofu. It wasn't quite what we expected--it was deep fried eggplant with deep fried tofu dressed with soy sauce grounded pork and green onions. The eggplant was much too oily, but the tofu was amazing. The flavor and texture were so smooth and silky (it wasn't fried for too long, because the outside was barely browned), I wished there was more than four pieces! The pork was good too--they had taken out the fatty parts, so we didn't feel too bad eating all that deep fried food. Haha.

Last we had the black cod with asparagus. This dish was good too, particularly the texture of the fish. The outside was crispy, the inside was buttery, and the sauce complemented it perfect, albeit a little on the salty side. It would've been perfect with white rice, but by that time we were too stuffed to order more.

Dan had really wanted me to try their Earl Grey creme brulee, but unfortunately they weren't offering it that night (though they had green tea creme brulee). It's okay though, because we went to Fremont later to get dessert with Jess. But that's for another post!

Overall, I would definitely recommend this place--if I get to go again, I would want to try their clay pot rice! And their fusion food.

Gochi Japanese Fusion Tapas
19980 West Homestead Road
Cupertino, CA 95014-0556

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