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Musha, Santa Monica

Pei Mar 12, 2007 09:14 AM

I've said a lot about how much I love Musha, and I still need to get out to the Torrance branch to see if it's as superior as everyone claims. The difference is, this time I remembered my camera!

photos: http://www.chezpei.com/2007/03/blog-p...

For those times when everyone wants to eat in Santa Monica, Musha is a great deal. I have yet to spend over $25/pp there, and we always leave stuffed (my gauge for "stuffed" is if we're all shoving food at each other--"you finish it" "no, YOU finish it").

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  1. mollyomormon RE: Pei Mar 12, 2007 09:41 AM

    Great pictures! I was there again last night and the bill for the two of us was about $40 and we were both stuffed ...this place is such a deal!

    1. liu RE: Pei Mar 12, 2007 12:18 PM

      Pei -- Great photos...and I am laughing at your definition of "stuffed." It's so true!

      The Torrance branch is very different from the SM branch of Musha. If you do go, try to sit at the community table...very festive and friendly, although sometimes it gets reserved for large parties. We were there one night and everyone was sharing food and food talk...so fun! The food is also a little different as there are some items that we have seen only in Torrance (i.e., something wrapped in foil and baked/broiled with cheese that I heard was heavenly).

      The Santa Monica site is a little more sophisticated and calm, though certainly not stuffy. They are both really great choices for any night!

      1. CarlieInLA RE: Pei Mar 12, 2007 01:33 PM

        My husband and I were just saying that we need to go back to Musha and your pics seal the deal, we are going there this weekend!

        1. PseudoNerd RE: Pei Mar 15, 2007 06:29 PM

          Pei, *please* try the one in Torrance!

          Seriously, unless you're a vegetarian, the food options are better (albeit sometimes accompanied by lots of mayo decorations...) at that location. The SM location, if I remember correctly, offers more tofu-related items. Actually, I remember opting to have more sashimi, grilled fish, and tofu at the SM location the couple of times I went than at the one in Torrance, where I'd normally get more meat, veggies and clams.

          By the by, I think the parfaits look a little bit different at the Torrance location-- I mean, I can't be certain because it's been a while since I've had enough room for dessert after having dinner there, but...

          In any case, I've posted extensively on what dishes I'd recommend at the Torrance location, so I won't bore you this time around.

          One last point: one generally goes to an izakaya for a variety of foods (ostensibly to soak up alcohol, but I don't drink...much...since I have to drive from Torrance back to LA) and a lively scene, not sophistication, no? (Sorry, A! >_< )

          8 Replies
          1. re: PseudoNerd
            eatdrinknbmerry RE: PseudoNerd Mar 15, 2007 07:11 PM

            Pei, definitely try the Musha location. Agree with Liu, the Monster Musha table is very fun for large groups. We always try as many dishes as possible... still my faves are MFC (musha fried chicken), takotama (egg/octopus noodie pie) and pork belly. just saw your photos - many dishes i've never seen before. you'll like the Torrance variety.

            1. re: eatdrinknbmerry
              Pei RE: eatdrinknbmerry Mar 15, 2007 07:34 PM

              Well, after that sound talking to all around, I will definitely have to round up the troops for a trip to Torrance! We still haven't gotten around to it because:

              a) we only go to Musha when people (visitors) ask to eat in Santa Monica. Because really, what else is worth going to around there?

              b) when we do want to drive 20 minutes to eat, we head to San Gabriel.

              I will have to force a gear switch!

              1. re: Pei
                PseudoNerd RE: Pei Mar 15, 2007 08:58 PM

                Hmm...you could make a field trip out of it by including Penzey's in the jaunt to Torrance or something, no?

                1. re: PseudoNerd
                  liu RE: PseudoNerd Mar 15, 2007 09:10 PM

                  "...or something..." I'm thinking Marukai Market AND Mitsuwa AND Beard Papas AND Marukai Marketplace (they sell many items other than food) and the little mini Marukai (Has it opened yet? We peeked in just a week or so ago and it was still under construction, but close to opening.).

                  I am always happy when I am in Torrance!

                  1. re: liu
                    brekkie_fan RE: liu Mar 17, 2007 10:00 AM

                    good idea, liu. i like hitting multiple plazas whenever i'm local to somewhere....gotta find my membership card the next time i'm driving out there!

                2. re: Pei
                  Ciao Bob RE: Pei Mar 17, 2007 10:07 AM

                  "what else is worth going to around there?"
                  That's a really good question. A few but not much: Melisse and The Hump, I guess. Others may say Micheal's which I can never warm up to. Drago and Giorgio Baldi. Oh yeah, Vincente.

                  1. re: Ciao Bob
                    b
                    bulavinaka RE: Ciao Bob Mar 17, 2007 10:10 AM

                    I know what you mean about Michael's... I was fortunate enough to have a friend that worked in their office for a few years, so he did us up a couple of times. The patio is nice, but something about the place - kind of pretentious?

              2. re: PseudoNerd
                b
                bulavinaka RE: PseudoNerd Mar 17, 2007 10:06 AM

                I just don't get the Japanese fascination with mayo... I mean I like it with certain things, but wow - the mayo-ness of the Japanese psyche! My mom's from Japan - her generation doesn't get it either. However, I'd better try this place just for the sake of "further research" so to better understand this strange but alluring phenomenon...;->

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