Fugetsu

As you guys may already observe with the ongoing trend, I love Japanese food.  When I heard about the original hype of a local okinomiyaki specialty store opening up, I was stoked!  As possible it is to find this dish in some Japanese restaurants around, there has yet to be one that specialized in okinomiyaki, until today – Fugetsu!

For those of you who don’t know what okinomiyaki, it’s a Japanese pancake that originated mostly from Kansai prefecture and Hiroshima.  The variety between the okinomiyaki’s can vary very greatly, but the primary ingredient is made up of a batter of cabbage and nagaimo (Japanese yam).  It’s coated in a okinomiyaki special sauce that tastes similar toWorcestershire sauce and Japanese mayo…just the thought of it makes me hungry!

The restaurant is quite small, and cozy. I would definitely recommend going with a small party of 4 or less.  The tables are not really portable, they all have heated trays on them for your food to keep warm. This follows from original traditions of Japanese okinomiyaki restaurants. Usually in Japan they will cook it completely in front of the customers at their table. However, as we learned from the restaurant owner, because of health regulations in California, this was prohibited, so they could only put the cooked food displayed on a heated pan to recreate the experience as closely possible. To try to replicate the experience and fulfill the curiosity of people who want to see how it’s made, they’ve opened up the kitchen with a glass wall to watch the chefs cook the okinomiyaki first hand. Another observation about this restaurant is that it takes some time for the food to come. The owner is well aware of this and is working to optimize the process, but because all the food is raw to begin with and made to order, it will take a bit longer. Please be patient!

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Okinomiyaki spatulas and hot griddle setting.  So fun and interactive, right?

Ok, enough about logistics of the restaurant, let’s get onto the food.

N and I went for lunch and we went at around 1pm (dodging the main lunch hours as it gets really busy).  Fugetsu has a specific lunch menu with the opportunity to try many different things at once for a reasonable price.  Each dish was under $15 dollars during lunch.

I opted in for the lunch special of half an okinomiyaki and a small portion of yakisoba.  I’m a huge fan of okinomiyaki, so I’ve got to say that was the better of the two, but both are similar but unique in their own ways.  The noodles that are found in the okinomiyaki are actually different noodles that are used to make the yakisoba.  The yakisoba noodles are more firm and textured whereas the okinomiyaki’s noodles are more soft and resemble a mochi like texture.  The shop owner was explaining to us that it took around 3 months to engineer the desired texture and flavour.  The noodles come from an original recipe brought from the Japanese Fugetsu!

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Lunch combo #1: Small portion of yakisoba and original okinomiyaki ($11.95)

N went for the modan order of okinomiyaki, specifically the negi tsukimi, which is okinomiyaki topped with an egg and generous amount of green onion.  Upon trying this one versus my original okinomiyaki, I really felt that the negi tsukimi is the definition of a hot mess, haha.  The thick layer of okyinomiyaki, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, along with the gooeyness of they egg and freshness from the green onion, really was a complexity of flavours and textures.  These modan okinomiyaki really don’t mess around.  Would definitely recommend it!

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Negi Tsukimi Modan ($13). Green onions for days!

All in all, I thought it was a refreshing and fun experience that is different from other restaurants around.  The wait is long, I agree, even when the restaurant wasn’t full of people, but I truly felt it was worth it.  The store owner was welcoming, and humble — looking for criticism in order to grow customer satisfaction.  If you are thinking about coming here, you can read more about the menu and ingredients here!

– ksdn.

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Nom Burger

Happy New Year :D!

Since I’ve moved to the Bay Area, I realized that I’ve never actually posted anything about any restaurants nearby.  Well, we’re about to change that!  Sunnyvale has been doing a lot of revamp for their downtown area, and a lot of local restaurants have recently (recently, is within the lifetime of 2016) opened.

 

Upon entering Nom Burger, I wasn’t sure what kind of expectations to have.  The decor was really nice, and everything was really modern.  Prior to coming here, I read about how the buns are all handmade – but y’know, you don’t believe until you see it.  Right where we were seated, there was someone working on glazing the buns with egg.

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He noticed we were taking photos of him, hehe.  Glowing buns being glazed *yummeh*

I would classify this restaurant as one that served gourmet burgers.  Prices were all within the range of $15, which is kinda expensive in my opinion given that you have to pay additional for sides…that is, until the burger came.

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Every month they have a special burger.  This month they have the Hella Dank Burger ($15).  This is a banh mi inspired burger
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California Love ($14)

Do you see how huge these burgers are?  They really were a mouthful to eat.  And as much as they were delicious, I would definitely not recommend on your first date.  You will be a mess!  Our waiter knew this ahead of time and presented us with a ton of extra napkins xD.
Of the two burgers, N and I both ended up agreeing that the California Love was the better of the two.  Its freshness of local ingredients, balance of sweet and salty, and of course, avocado, definitely won my love.  That doesn’t put the Hella Dank out of competition, though.  If you’re up for a challenge and want to try different, I would definitely go with this burger.  The compilation of the pickled radish and pate brought out its own type of umami.

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Nom Fries ($5)

We ordered one side for the two of us, and wait a minute, did you guys hear what I said – SIDE?  This is huge!  We order Nom Fries, which is essentially garlic fries.  So apparently, this photo is taken when the food arrived, which a waiter dropped by telling us that we have been lied to, and splat on some sort of sour cream, which went really well with the fries (such great service, right?!).  The fries are chopped finely, and really good…*drool*.  The aioli sauce on it was a tad spicy, but totally tolerable.

I honestly feel like this place is not here to jip you.  The food is good, service is wonderful (shoutout to our waiter, he really enhanced the experience), and atmosphere is great.  It’s nice to know that more of these kind of restaurants are opening up around the Bay Area.  I would definitely come here again.

-ksdn.