My friends and I came to Namu to celebrate one of our friends, Ei-lun's birthday. I arrived early, so I went in to look around. It is a small, dim, modern restaurant located on the calmer street of the Richmond District. I remember hearing about Namu food stand at the Farmer's Market, and so, I knew Namu is going to use natural meats and organic produces in their dishes.
The service was pretty okay. Our water get filled pretty often and the waitresses and waiters helped us very often and asked how our food was. One of the waitresses was also very knowledgeable about the menu and suggestion, but just need to smile a little more at times.
We had a party of 8, which mean more food for me to look at, yay!
I ordered a Korean Beef Short Rib "Tacos" for my appetitzer, because it was on one of the 7x7 Big Eat SF List. I ordered the Daily Fish, which was Black Cod that night. My friends ordered a bunch of other delicious plates in which I had a chance to try.
Korean Beef Short Rib "Tacos" - Beef short ribs on a bed of rice, nori and topped with daikon and kimchee salsa, kimchee remoulade, and kalbi demi glace
To keep this long entry short...the tacos were DELICIOUS! They were so good that I wanted to order a second plate near the end of the night. The beef definitely has that grill taste and the rice was so fluffy. That kimchee salsa was so good! Great combination!
Daily Fish - Black Cod served over koshihikari porcini risotto, and fried brussel sprouts
The fish and the risotto can be separate dishes by itself. The fish was grilled to perfect. It was so smooth and tender. It had some of the sauce glazed on top of it which added perfect flavor to it. The risotto was super salty since it was soaked in what I believed to be ponzu sauce. The brussel sprout was okay, a bit bitter and again, pretty salty.
Cold Soba Noodle - Soba noodle with chopped romaine, kimchee, pine nuts, tofu, cucumber with kimchee sesame dressing
I love this appetizer so much! It's so refreshing and everything taste so right together. The noodle was al-dente! The dressing was sweet and light, which makes this whole dish very light and hearty also.
Grilled Eggplant - Eggplant grilled with onion sesame vinaigrette and topped with bonito flakes
Since I think the eggplants were just glazed with the vinaigrette and not marinated with it, the taste was very subtle. A little bland at times.
New York Strip - New York strip with taro roots
My boyfriend ordered this medium rare, but it came out pretty medium. The beef wasn't as tender as expected, and it seemed pretty ordinary. The taro root was pretty interesting. It was mildly sweet.
Crispy Short Ribs - Twice cooked, heritage pork spareribs, gochujang sake marinade with spicy red russian kale kraut
This tasted so, so good! This plate smelled very good too. Just having my mouth touching the exterior of the rib, I could already taste the flavors. The pork rib was so tender that it came off the bone with a gentle pull. Highly recommend this.
Hog Island Oysters - Oyster served with yuzu Ponzu, wabi, chojang korean chili sauce
Okay, I am not an oyster fan, and since I was pretty hungry, I did not want to eat raw food first. But I could smell that the oyster is pretty fresh, no bad odor whatsoever. Also from the way my friends are slurping in delight, I could tell they are pretty yummy.
We ordered a lot more food, which I did not include here because I did not taste the others. Overall, the food at Namu is good. Since I think the restaurant has only two cooks and we had a party of 8, all the dishes came out whenever they are ready, and not at the same time. We were okay with this because I think any of the dishes we ordered could be eaten at any order. The place is pretty pricey for the amount of food you get though; it seems to me to be more of a tapas style restaurant or one that people can enjoy small portion of food with their beer, wine or sake. Nevertheless, it was a nice dinning experience.