Andrew Zimmern showcased this place on his show earlier this year and I looooove izakaya style joints (any place that allows you to order many small portions of delicious things wins me over). I treated my brother out for his 23rd birthday with an introduction to Japanese charcoal bbq on sticks.
We had an incredible soft tofu dish to start (wooooow, how do they get it to taste like that??) and got miso udon to check off the obligatory ‘must have noodles of some kind’ guideline from our superstitious Filipino mother. Most of the time we stuck with these babies – the skewers.
These are chicken thighs and kalbi with garlic. The chicken thighs have a small sliver of skin that gets nice and crispy. The daikon topped kalbi was better than the garlic one (the daikon is ever so refreshing) but both were a bit tough.
The real winners were the chicken meatballs (slightly charred on the outside, super soft on the inside), chicken hearts (yums), and chicken skin (duh). We also had the scallops (pretty good) and beef tongue (meh, mostly hype and ever so slightly gamey).
Spicy crispy wings (tiny, very crispy, piping hot, and spicy) to wrap up the savory portion of our meal and were delicious with beer. We also had the yuzu honey cheesecake which my brothers loved. The yuzu honey tasted like the honey citron tea you get at the Asian market and the cheesecake was very creamy and tart (reminded us of yogurt).
Overall, a very enjoyable meal. Happy to have found a solid yakitori place in the South Bay.
Gaku: 5152 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, CA 95129