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First Date Tapas Reccomendations?

Traditional Spanish is okay, but I think my date would rather go to a Japanese or Pan-Asian place. Preferably somewhere on the west side, but if there's a great place somewhere else, I'm open to that as well. I've been to Orris, which is okay, but I'd rather go somewhere else. I was thinking about Musha in Santa Monica. Someplace like Yatai would be great (it just can't be Yatai because of what happened the last time I took a first date there).


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  1. I love the Musha idea, but be sure to make reservations or stand in line before 6:00pm when they open on a Saturday night. I also like Ita-Cho (6775 Santa Monica Blvd.) for very healthy small-plate dining. Nanbankan on Santa Monica is great, but although they are open, the building is being remodeled and it is a little "creepy" upon entering the restaurant. This might be good later on.

      1. re: Ciao Bob

        Our night at Yatai was great. It was the broken heart a little while later that sucked. I'd just feel weird going back there.

      2. I heard great things about the small plates at Izayoi in Little Tokyo; haven't been myself (the one time I tried turned out to be the day they're closed- Sunday).


        1 Reply
        1. re: AquaW

          Hi, AquaW! Izayoi in Little Tokyo is perhaps my favorite! They really care about presentation AND the food is delicious! The service is also terrific! Try it again on another night -- well worth it!

          Since the OP seems to prefer the Westside, I think Musha is always good-to-great...and really fun for a first date! Ita-Cho is a little larger and very pretty inside, but they, too, fill up by about 7:00pm on a Saturday night, so reservations are recommended.

        2. there is also sasaya on smb, near colby. its a quaint spot and serves up the standard izakaya dishes.

          1. K-Zo in Culver City for french-japanese small plates as well as sushi.

            1. thanks for all the suggestions. i think i'm gonna go w/ musha.

              1 Reply
              1. re: RustyShackelford

                We have been there often and never walked out disappointed! The servers are very helpful if you ask them how and what to order. Two items that we always enjoy are their tableside-seared (with a blow-torch) mackerel (delicious and very impressive for a first date!) and their spicy tuna with crispy rice crackers. Also, if you like green beans, they have a good green bean salad. I think they excel in their cold dishes, but mixing it up is fun.

              2. Check out Ronin - a fabulous new Izakaya on La Cienaga (359 N.) just North of Beverly. I have eaten there 3 times in the last 2 weeks and was blown away each time. Fave dishes: Ahi Taco Sashimi, a tower of fresh tuna, crispy wonton, avocado, perfectly seasoned, Garlic Shrimp scampi, very delicately tempura battered shrimp with a garlicky butter sauce, Ronin Fried rice littered with yummy little surprises, Tuna, Albacore and Scallop Carpaccio Trio each with it's own complimentary sauce, Tataki Beef salad - Kobe beef barely seared on greens in a tart vinaigrette,and my absolute favorite and a twist on the traditional dish - braised Pork in Shoyu Broth with slivered ginger. And one of the best desserts I've ever had in ANY restaurant - Flan with a Yuzu Granita - sweet, tart, creamy, crunchy - every taste sensation in one dessert! The prices are extremely fair and the dishes are quite generous for Tapas. 310-289-8404

                1. Take a look at some photos of The Minotaure in Playa del Rey. It's traditional Spanish but is an adorable little intimate place, with occasional Spanish guitar. If you decide to go Spanish, this for this date or a later one perhaps. It's on the casual side, and if you look at the pics please note the evening lighting is low, so it's really pretty.

                  If you're looking for something a little more contemporary and fusion, I really like Akasha in Culver City. Great open interior, excellent cocktails and must have the short rib.