Review: Nomica.

Since I know not one but two people that work at the newly opened hot spot Nomica in the Castro, I knew I had to come check it out.

Nomica, meaning “drinking house” in Japanese, is a hip modern izakaya restaurant with a full bar of intriguing cocktails. Since my coworker is the bartender, I knew I had to sample some of their inventive cocktails to start off my meal.

Left: Stray Cat Rock (Cognac, Shiitake, Carpano, Sherry, Kummel, and Rosemary), Middle: Flower and Snake (Bourbon, Angostura Amaro, Maraschino, Violette, and Star Jasmine), Right: Maiko Matcha Milk (Old Tom Gin, Matcha Buttermilk, Coconut, and Lime Zest).

All the cocktails were beyond unique and inventive. While all of them were pretty boozy, at least for me, my favorite was the maiko matcha milk.

Shigoku Oysters with Seaweed Kanzuri Granita, Cucumber, and Oyster Vinaigrette (9/10).

These shigoku oysters were the perfect bite, an explosion of flavor. The granita (essentially shaved ice) was flavored with seaweed and kanzuri (a type of fermented chili paste) which gave a nice contrast to the plump briny oyster and crunchy pieces of cucumber.

Beef Tartare with Cornichon, Honwasabi, and Green Plantains (7.5/10).

The beef tartare was flavored with pungent honwasabi and is meant to be eaten with the fried green plantain chips. The tartare needed just a pinch more salt for my liking.

Marinated Salmon Belly with Myoga and Aged Ponzu (9/10).

This salmon belly was out of this world flavorful. Extremely tender luscious pieces of salmon belly swimming in ponzu (citrus soy sauce) and strands of myoga (a type of Japanese ginger) on top. So delicious.

Laminated Brioche with Shiitake and Kogi Duxelle and Beef Whipped Jidori Egg Yolk (9/10).

If you love laminated doughs, then you’ll love this. Flaky buttery pastry with shiitake and kogi duxelle weaved through each layer of dough served with the most unbelievable unctuous condiment, beef fat whipped jidori egg yolk.

Gift from the Kitchen: Tuna and Tuna Tartare with Various Pickles (8/10).

This was a gift from the kitchen, a simple but flavorful tuna sashimi and tuna tartare with various pickles.

Stuffed Chicken Wings with Gyoza Farce, Yuzu Kosho, and Chili Oil (8.5/10).

The chicken wings were sooooo good. Super crunchy and crispy with a gyoza stuffing tossed in a chili oil. Get these addictive wings.

Kaarage Chicken with Beer Waffles (8/10).

Chicken and waffles asian style. This dish was so much fun. The chicken cubes were super crunchy and dusted with matcha salt and the waffles were airy and light.

Condiments for the Chicken and Waffles: Matcha Butter, Béarnaise Aioli, and Turmeric Daikon.

The condiments really made the chicken and waffles. The matcha butter was for the waffles, the béarnaise aioli was for the chicken, and the turmeric daikon helped cut through the richness of the entire dish.

Crab Donabe Rice with Salmon Roe, Mitsuba, and Ginger (8/10).

The crab donabe rice was super comforting. Stands of tender crab meat mixed with ginger perfumed rice and salty salmon roe on top made this dish heartwarming.

Foie Gras Ice Cream with Indonesian Coffee, Hazelnut Streusel, and 25 Year Old Balsamic (8/10).

While the foie gras ice cream didn’t necessarily taste like foie gras, it gave the ice cream a nice creamy consistency. The chocolate bubbles on top were super fun too!

Peaches and Cream with Olive Oil Ice Cream and Lemon Verbena (8/10).

The peaches and cream was simple but really satisfying with various stone fruits, raw and cooked, and a creamy olive oil ice cream.

Miso Chocolate Cremeaux with Blackberry Sorbet, Red Shiso, and Pistachios (8/10).

The miso chocolate cremeaux was silky smooth and paired nicely with the sweet yet tart blackberry sorbet, various fresh berries, and red shiso.

Nomica has been one of the more creative and exciting restaurants that I have dined at recently. Not only was presentation beautiful, flavors were outstanding and kept me wanting more. My overall rating is an 8-8.5/10.

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