Sampling Namu Gaji's New Korean-Influenced Brunch
The family-owned Korean restaurant with one of the sweetest locations in the city, Namu Gaji, has expanded into brunch terrain. Considering the Lee brothers' artful okonomiyaki pancake, we greet this news with high expectations.
Pete Kane Hangtown benedict at Namu Gaji's new brunch.
And indeed the quality is high, although the menu's modest in scope, with only four discrete dishes plus a la carte options. The hangtown benedict was superb, silky hollandaise on a fried oyster with bacon on a biscuit (and a generous side of home fries). The gooey soft-cooked egg in dashi was another story. More in line with Namu Gaji's lunch and dinner menu, its texture is definitely not something for anyone who prefers his or her eggs scrambled or otherwise cooked all the way through. Adding the rice and roasted pork belly to the broth was quite luxurious, however, and of course the acid in the kimchi set it off nicely.
There's no getting around the fact that the prices are relatively high. (That $50 mimosa pitcher is nothing short of outrageous.) Also, Namu Gaji serves almost everything on paper products instead of actual plates, but as long as you're not absolutely ravenous or desperately hung over, this little brunch menu will satisfy anyone. It runs until 4 p.m., too, for the up-til-dawn crowd.
Pete Kane Soft-cooked egg and pork belly at Namu Gaji.
Let the hordes descend on Dolores Park with their salted caramel or tofu banh mi sandwiches from Bi-Rite. You can watch them sideways out the window as you bite into the pickled daikon and soy glazed onions on your egg sandwich in a relative oasis.
Namu Gaji, 499 Dolores St., (415) 431-6268.