Kappou Gomi is the kind of place you might find traveling around Japan, says CarrieWas218: “authentic, intimate, and unlike anything else we have here in the Bay Area.”

No sushi, no combination plates; it’s small plates, but not a pub-like izakaya. Instead, it’s a cute little restaurant with attentive servers.

The menu is arranged by ingredient, with several options for how it can be prepared. “For example, gindara (black cod) has eight preparations: sakamushi (steamed with sake), oroshi-ni (simmered with grated daikon), teriyaki, yuan-grilled (soy sauce and sake marinade), sakekasu-grilled (sake lees marinade), butter grilled, and panko-fried.”

Although it’s not a sushi restaurant, raw fish can be found; toro sashimi with fresh wasabi is exceptional. Butter-grilled scallops are large and tender, intensely rich with a simple dressing of brown butter. And grilled oyster with egg yolk is carefully encased in an omelet that holds in the oyster liquor; the rich egg flavor is enhanced by a topping of toasted pine nuts and a sliced crisp lotus root.

Many of the dishes showcase a variety of textures as well as tastes, edging right up into gelatinousness, which the Japanese positively revel in. If goo isn’t a turnoff, by all means get the uni with crab, agar agar, sliced chestnuts, shredded vegetables, and extra goo just for the hell of it. And sticky, vinegared wakame topped with a raw quail egg is “a mouthful of viscous goodness,” Carrie says.

Some lovely Japanese sweets finish off the meal, including a couple of red-bean treats and a chilled gelatin with large golden raisins, orange peel, and a surprising hint of celery.

Kappou Gomi [Richmond District]
5524 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco

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