Not only does Namu Gaji have its own farm that supplies its innovative kitchen with fresh, delicious produce, but it’s got working relationships with over a dozen other artisanal producers and farms. A shortage of incredible produce – that’s local, organic, seasonal and sustainable – is not on the cards here. And thankfully the folks in the kitchen know exactly what to do with it to make it sing in their Korean–Pan-Asian dishes.
As is only right in a place that places such stock in fresh ingredients, the menu at Namu Gaji changes through the year. But there are certain dishes that diners demand year-round – they’re that good. The okonomiyaki is one such. This savoury pancake can be made veggie or carnivorous, depending on your preference, but the building blocks remain the same; cabbage, scallion, kimchee, bonito, oko sauce, and kewpie mayo. It’s a thing of beauty. As are the “KFC-style” (Korean fried chicken) bites, which are tossed in a sweet, tangy tare and served with spicy slaw, pickled daikon and some koshihikari rice. There’s miso soup, soba noodle salad with a kimchee-sesame vinaigrette, and bibimbap with cold market veg and an egg, served sunny side up.
A family enterprise, Namu Gaji is owned and run by the Lee brothers, Daniel, David and Namu Gaji’s exemplary chef, Dennis. The beauty of family and food shines through here. It’s in everything from the warmth and comfort of the dining room (a welcoming space populated with plenty of smooth, buttery-coloured wood) to the food the brothers learned cooking with their mother, also a restaurateur, and now serve to lucky San Franciscans.
- 499 Dolores Street,
- +1 415 431 6268
- Opening Times
- Dinner: daily, 5.30pm (5pm Sat/Sun)-10pm (11pm Fri/Sat). Brunch: 11.30am (10.30am Sat/Sun)-3pm (4pm) Weds-Sun. Closed Mondays.