Musha Santa Monica - We loved it!
Went to Musha's for the first time this Saturday for my husband's birthday and I have to say we were very impressed. We arrived at 8:30 and ordered sake & beer. The waitresses were very helpful and nice. There were so many things on the menu that we wanted to try that we ended up staying for 2 hours and eating a ton, here's what we had:
Pumpkin Croquettes: Outstanding - so crispy on the outside but the insides were moist and soft. They were served piping hot which we loved
Scallop Dumplings: Good - the "skin" of the dumpling was very fluffy, almost like an egg, I have never tried a dumpling like this before, it was tasty.
Kukuni - Braised pork: amazing - very tender and juicy and the flavor of the sauce was not overpowering, it tasted like home cooking
Green bean Salad: Very crunchy greenbeans and the dressing was just right.
Lobster roll: this is a sushi roll of sorts but with no rice, asparagus, lobster & cucumber wrapped with tofu paper and a sauce. It was very good, you could really taste the lobster and all the flavors melded together perfectly.
MFC - Musha Fried Chicken: This was tasty and crispy but not a highlight.
Takane Rice - Rice served with stirfried shiso & mitsuba leaves,pickles & shredded seaweed. They bring this to the table in a hot stone pot and mix it so the rice gets crispy. Outstanding, very subtle flavors.
and last but definately not least:
Aburisaba: Vinager marinated mackeral that they sear at your table with a blow torch. WOW. We were pretty full at this point and almost didn't get it but it was the highlight of the night. The fish was cold, salty & sour but almost melted in my mouth. And the searing of the skin gave a smoky flavor that I haven't had before. It was really an amazing dish.
We had a wonderful time. With 3 beers, a soju cocktail and bottle of sake the meal came out to $90. This is a great place with amazing food that I would highly reccommend to anyone.
Yes, the mackerel is SO good! It is really special!
I ditto the other comments about "some dishes that I don't remember seeing before" at this Musha. We have been lots of times...I will have to really study the menu next time!
To the OP: note that there is another Musha in Torrance -- since you liked this one so much. The other one is quite different from the SM location...different vibe and some different menu items as well.
Torrance is more funky and vibrant while Santa Monica Musha is calmer and a little more grown up -- yet still very warm, friendly and even a little cozy.
Torrance has a large, center community table that adds to their energy; one night when we were there, everyone was talking about their food and even sharing. It was very lively and chatty. I feel calmer and more mellow at the Santa Monica place.
Both are "perfect" for different moods...they're different flavors!