Japanese Tapas in California - On the Floor

I was just in California for a work trip and the first night, had an interesting dining experience at a Japanese fusion tapas restaurant. That description itself should have been the first hint that this dinner wasn’t going to be ordinary. But strangely enough- the food was probably the most normal part of the evening.

We ventured to Cupertino, between San Jose and Santa Clara for dinner at GocHi Japanese Fusion Tapas. The restaurant was in a strip mall, next door to the oddest karaoke joint we’d ever seen. Once inside, we realized just how authentic this place was – the seating with tatami style – we were seated on the floor on mats with a cut out under the table for our legs to go in. It was surprisingly less uncomfortable than I thought it would be, despite my horrible posture.

What was slightly concerning was the sign asking us to remove our shoes- while simultaneously telling us that they were not responsible for any stolen shoes. Okay…

Once we sat down and received our menus, the concern grew as we read, “Please do not leave valuables in your car, especially where it’s visible from the outside.  Many cars have been broken into and had their important belongings stolen in our parking lot.”


The great thing about going to a tapas restaurant with a big group, is you get a chance to try so many different dishes! But GocHi’s menu is HUGE and we still only sample a small portion of their offerings.

Here’s what we had-

Edamame: Standard, although it was cold instead of warm and I prefer it warm.

Tako Carpaccio – Octopus, Sliced Cucumber, Plum Paste Vinaigrette Dressing drizzled with Garlic Oil: Not my favorite octopus that I’ve ever had, but it could have been worse

Hamachi Carpaccio – Yellowtail, Garlic-Ginger-Ponzu, and Chopped Jalapeno Drizzled With Garlic Oil: Again, not really anything special.

Gyuniku Salad – Thinly Sliced Cooked Beef & Spring Mix in Sesame Peanut Butter Dressing: SUPER DELICIOUS. Interesting texture and flavor, but I was a big fan. Figures, I liked the salad.

Kurobuta Steak – Kurobuta Pork Steak with Soy Brandy Sauce: This was really delicious and full of caramelized onions. Pork is always one of my favorites.

Hotate Tomato – Pan Seared Scallop and Roasted Tomato in Shiso-Pesto Yuzu: Didn't love the tomato but the scallop was really good and the pesto mixed with asian flavors was...interesting …

Gyuuniku Maki – Panko Crusted Beef Rolls with Asparagus and Cheese with Hatcho Miso Sauce: Yummy because it was friend and the brown gravy sauce was good too.

Nasu Curry Fusion Pizza – Pork Curry Sauce, Eggplant, Wild Mushrooms and Cheese: An awesome mix of flavors!

Buta Meshi Clay Pot Rice – BBQ Sliced Pork: Sooo good- the rice, with the sauce, with the crispy pork skin made me wish this didn’t come out last when I was already stuffed.

Tuna Tartare: Did not like this at all for some reason
Pork Meatballs: Delicious is an amazing broth with potatoes

Sweet Potato Custard with Vanilla Ice Cream:  SO SO SOO DELICIOUS
Chocolate Cake: Boring
and Lychee Sorbet: Really sweet and refreshing and an interesting, icy texture

After dinner karaoke, anyone? 

(Stay weird, San Jose!)