Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, New Orleans, LA Report #171

When you listen to youngsters talk these days, it seems like they describe every experience they have as “AMAZING”.  And if you’re like me you think, “Well dummy, if everything is amazing, then NOTHING is amazing”!  Well, guess what?  This place is AMAZING!!

The place is beautiful.  Small bar as soon as you walk in.  Each table has a gas grill, a set of tongs to grill your food, three sauces (Ponzu, Spicy and Sweet Soy), and a dish with three sections so you can fill each section with a different sauce.

This was my first time at a Japanese BBQ and the staff was wonderful.  My waitress spent a lot of time with me explaining everything.  And besides all the attention my waitress gave me, at least three other staff members that passed by my table stopped to ask if I was doing ok, did I need anything, could they remove something off my table, did I have any further questions, etc.  Very friendly and energetic.

Down to the food.  This is what I had:

And this is what everything looked like:

The appetizers were, uhhhh, AMAZING!  I’ve had Spicy Tuna at several Japanese restaurants but never on a fried rice cake like this.  Sticky rice with maybe a light breadcrumb coating, fried VERY crisp as delicious.  And the Spicy Tuna itself was great.  The Cheese Wontons didn’t have a lot of cheese in them, but whatever kind of cheese it was was fantastic, and it was enough.  The dipping sauce was great with them.

Now, if you look at the menu there’s a Kobe Style Kalbi Short Rib for $23.50.  There’s also USDA PRIME Kalbi Short Rib for $12.00.  Prime Beef is wonderful.  I asked my waitress if the Kobe beef was so much unbelievably better that it was worth paying $11.50 more?  She didn’t seem to think so, saying the Prime Beef was her favorite.  So I went with that.  And I recommend you do the same.  The meat was seriously marbled and it grilled up tender and juicy.  They told me grill it for 30-45 seconds on each side, and that was perfect.  If you’ve got $11.50 burning a hole in your pocket use it for a different kind of meat to grill.  Maybe the pork belly or some shrimp.

I wanted to try the Garlic Fried Rice served with the egg yolk on top.  I asked the waitress about it, and she said they bring it out in a very hot container and mix it up for you at the table.  She said you then let it sit for a bit and it cooks the egg yolk into the rice.  But she warned it was quite a big portion, and I was dining alone.  Maybe the insinuation being I’m such a pig I was already ordering enough food for three people? Either way I decided to just go with a bowl of white rice, which was done perfectly.  Nice and sticky, just how I like it.

Oh, and they served the beef with a “Special Sauce”.  I asked what it was and a waiter told me it was like a pear sauce.  It was ok, but the Spicy sauce on the table ended up being my favorite.  Next would be the Sweet Soy, which I thought would be like a Teriyaki Sauce but it wasn’t.

At the end of the meal my waitress helped me download their app on my phone.  Signing up for it gave me points, signing in with Facebook gave me more points, then scanning my receipt gave me even more points towards my next meal.  And yes, there definitely will be a next meal!  I highly recommend this place.

400 Lafayette St., New Orleans, LA  70130

Blaine 1-25-2019

SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT:

Tried the Japanese Fried Chicken appetizer.  I’m not sure what they season the chicken with, but it was delicious!

Also, I wasn’t alone this time so we tried the Garlic Fried Rice.  They bring it in a seriously hot bowl.  Don’t worry about the raw egg yolk on top.  That cooks during the mixing.  Also, the waiter preparing it asked us if we wanted it crispy.  We did and asked how that would be accomplished.  After he mixed it he plastered it to the sides of the bowl with the spoons.  He told us to let it sit like that for 3-5 minutes, and the hot bowl would crisp the rice.  We split the difference and let it sit for 4 minutes, and sure enough the hot bowl fried it nicely.

I tried several different meats.  The short rib again, Garlic Shoyu Chicken, Pork Belly, Shrimp garlic and Spicy Pork.  All were delicious.

400 Lafayette St., New Orleans, LA  70130  Ph: 504-507-8800

Blaine 2-16-2019

SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT:

I was overdue a trip here, and I had 302 reward points on my app that were expiring soon. We tried a few different things. Among them the Fried Bacon, Cheese Corn Butter and Shrimp Garlic Noodles.

The food!

The fried bacon was surprisingly good! It’s served with lemon and salt. I squeezed a little lemon juice on one so the salt would stick and tried that. That didn’t really add anything in my opinion, but they were great!

Pictured right behind the Spicy Tina Volcano things I love is the Cheese Corn Butter. Also surprisingly good! And I’m not a corn lover.

Speaking of the Spicy Tuna Volcanoes, they were 200 reward points. A drink was 100 points. So that’s where my 302 reward points went. Got that free.

Pictured next in the black bowls are the Garlic Fried Rice and the Shrimp Garlic Noodles. Both fantastic. Again, forget about that raw egg pictured on the menu. I bet that turns a lot of people off from ordering it, but don’t come here and not order it. The picture to the right of it shows how it sticks to the side of that hot bowl and develops a nice little crust to it, with little chunks of toasted garlic. Nothing but delicious!

Last is a picture of the prime short rib and the spicy pork before grilling. Very good. The spicy pork is actually pretty spicy though! In fact, my dining partner couldn’t eat it. I wouldn’t recommend it if you can’t take spicy stuff.

Love this place.

400 Lafayette St., New Orleans, LA  70130  Ph: 504-507-8800

Blaine 1-15-2021

SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT:

We were long overdue for a return visit here. When we were seated there was a sign at the table asking people to have patience with them. I should have taken a picture of it. It basically said that due to supply issues, staff issues, etc., cut them some slack. Things might not be up to snuff. After our meal there tonight, they were right.

We ordered a few things we had before plus:

%%%%% THE FOOD %%%%%

There’s no way to sugar coat it. The octopus fritters were terrible. The inside was soft and gooey, not flavorful at all, with maybe two shreds of octopus per fritter. Bleh.

Now the black pepper chicken wings were delicious! Only problem with them was they were tiny, and you only got five pieces. They were more like big pigeon wings instead of chicken wings. At the price of the appetizer it came to almost $2 per piece.

I’ve been hearing about grilled Shishito peppers for a long time and how great they are, so I gave them a try. They come to the table raw, drizzled with soy sauce and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. That adds absolutely no flavor once you put them on the grill. Maybe you’re supposed to rub them back through it after you grill them. They were ok.

I didn’t care for the spicy beef ramen at all. The broth wasn’t even a bit spicy. I mean like not even a shot of black pepper in it. Not much other flavor either, and pretty devoid of beef.

Very disappointing dinner here tonight.

400 Lafayette St., New Orleans, LA  70130  Ph: 504-507-8800

Blaine 4-16-2022

3 thoughts on “Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, New Orleans, LA Report #171

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