After seeing many stellar reviews of Gochi, an izakaya on Homestead in Cupertino, we finally made it there for dinner last night. Although it was crowded when we arrived at 8:00, there were two spots open at the counter.
Gochi is kind of unusual because the main dining room is one big "tatami" floor (with carpeting instead of straw matting) and a bunch of tables with wells that allow you to sit comfortably on the floor. The counter is also there and is "well style" and seats maybe a dozen or so. However, you do not see the kitchen from the counter. There are a couple of standalone tables and some kind of closed-off tatami room(s) as well.
The clientele this night at least was a kind of odd combination of large parties and families with kids-- really noisy and not exactly what I was expecting. Most all the customers were Asian, and most seemed to be Japanese from the language I could overhear. I'd love to find a place with such good food at decent prices that is as quiet as Kaygetsu in Menlo Park, but I think I am dreaming. Oh, well. :-)
Anyway, the food was very good. I didn't take notes so from memory we had: daikon sprouts and greens salad; age nasu tofu (from the specials list - grilled eggplant with deep fried tofu); chicken wings with shichimen; rib eye yakiniku; and tanuki udon. Just wanted to try the udon; I was disappointed -- noodles were mushy to me -- but it might be because we were just in Japan and had AMAZING udon there (of course). But my husband didn't think Gochi's udon was too bad. I wouldn't order it again and might try an ochazuke instead. For dessert was a delicious yuzu mousse, again from the specials list. The salads are huge and easily shared by two. The other dishes I thought were generous. Our bill, with three beers, before tip was $69. Service was a little slow, but it was a very busy night.
As has been mentioned in another thread, the shochu list is big. I'm not a shochu fan and my husband couldn't find it offered by the glass so we settled for Kirin Ichiban on tap, which hit the spot.
The menu is vast and I'll be glad to go back and try many of the dishes other Chowhounders have mentioned (eg - pizza, which looked very interesting). Really glad for us here in Half Moon Bay that we can get good izakaya food without driving all the way to Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, or San Jose.
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