Gaijin is Paul Virant's love letter to okonomiyaki. Okonomi in Japanese means "what you like” and accordingly guests here are encouraged to choose their own course. Thanks to his time in Japan, the chef displays ace skills and experience. Osaka and Hiroshima are the main styles on his menu, which also flaunts a custom brew from Moody Tongue. While Tuesdays bring a tonkatsu feast, steamed rice with furikake, miso soup, and tsukemono are eternal hits. Desserts, like shirokuma with pineapple-buttermilk sherbet and coconut syrup, are worth the splurge.
The room resembles a veritable izakaya, with an okonomiyaki griddle dominating the space—and conversation. Brass accents, exposed brick, and concrete floors add a dash of rusticity to this otherwise premium den.