Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Gochi Fusion Tapas, Cupertino

Yes, yes, I have raved about Gochi in the past ... But that was when my experiences were limited to the midday. With mainly rice and noodle dishes on their lunch menu, I couldn't figure out why the words "fusion tapas" appear in the restaurant's name. Well, now that I've been to Gochi for dinner, I get it.

The dinner menu is COMPLETELY different from the lunch one. Much more extensive, with really creative offerings. But just like lunch, this place gets packed in the evening. When five of us showed up without reservations last night at 6:10pm -- 10 minutes after they opened their doors -- we were told that there was ONE table available for us, but we would have to finish eating by 8pm. No problem, especially given how efficient the service was.

We shared all of the dishes, including: crab coquettes; sashimi (no one seemed to want the chewy octopus!); hamachi carpaccio; braised beef tongue (for real); pizza with crab meat, cheese, bacon and mushrooms (sounds strange, right? not bad though, and apparently one of their most popular items); BBQ eel claypot; and ground chicken claypot.

My favorites were the hamachi (the ponzu sauce added a nice, light flavor), the beef tongue (so tender) and the eel claypot. When I come here for lunch, I usually order the unadon (eel over rice). But the claypot took the dish up a notch -- with more flavors and CRISPY rice. SO GOOD. If they had that on the lunch menu, I'd order it every other day. And never get sick of it.

The desserts were fairly standard, with the Earl Grey Creme Brulee being the most distinctive of the bunch. The green tea ice cream was another good way to end the meal -- not too chalky, not too sweet.

Oh! I must also recommend the Shochu cocktails here. (Shochu is often referred to as the "Japanese vodka.") I had the lychee drink last night and it was refreshing and yummy. Another reason why coming here for dinner is better: cocktails!

Gochi Fusion Tapas
19980 Homestead Road
Cupertino, CA
(408) 725-0542