Santa Monica: Small Plates at Izakaya Musha
I’ve been to the Musha in Pasadena that is now sadly closed and the one in Santa Monica a few times. I’ve never written about the Santa Monica location because I fear it’ll only get more popular and the restaurant is small enough as it is. Musha is a solid Japanese izakaya specializing in small plates. The six of us ordered like we were starving which we definitely were. The results of individual tastes came together as one beautiful meal.
The sashimi appetizer had the usual suspects: hamachi, tuna and salmon. The quality was great and we got two orders of this.
I was intrigued by the lobster roll which had big chunks of lobster along with avocado all wrapped up in soy paper.
Avocado also showed up with the seared albacore. The quality of the fish was also very good.
Musha may be famous for the spicy tuna dip which comes with fun puffed rice crackers to eat it with. It’s not that spicy so it’s worth throwing in a little extra spice.
I was intrigued by the scallop shu mai which came with fluffy wrappers reminding me of eggs. I didn’t get that much scallop flavor from it but the dumplings were warm and comforting.
I’d probably skip the negitoro croquettes next time. While the concept was good– tuna belly with green onions deep fried, at the end of the day I just want some negitori on rice.
Then we got a couple of crowd pleasers- the mackerel which they sear at the table. Really good, oily fish that I imagine is full of nutrients… Or you can just enjoy the spectacular show.
We ended up with the risotto that’s scooped table side from a huge block of cheese. The result is a warm bowl of cheesy rice that we needed after a lot of lean protein.
With so many trendy places along the Third Street Promenade, it’s nice to find a solid Japanese izakaya.(310) 576-6330
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