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Fun, casual Japanese birthday restaurant in LA (like Musha)

DReborn Dec 7, 2010 02:34 PM

tried to make reservations at Musha santa monica but they are booked. Any ideas for about 10 people?

Japanese preferred but not necessary.


424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

  1. liu Dec 9, 2010 04:46 PM

    DReborn, have you had your birthday dinner yet?
    Please be sure to report back!

    1. liu Dec 8, 2010 07:03 PM

      I like all of the suggestions here and have enjoyed frequent visits to most or all. For a birthday, I like the feel of Bar Hayama inside and I think they can easily accommodate 10 with advanced notice. FuRaiBo is delicious, although a little more rowdy and pub-ish. Nanbankan, as Soniabegonia suggested, also has a nice feel inside and would be fun for a birthday celebration. And we have had very good service at Robata-ya.

      Actually, I think all of the ideas here are good ones! Japanese small plates are fun and with 10 people you will have lots of interesting choices. You might also wish to consider Orris on Sawtelle.

      1. soniabegonia Dec 8, 2010 06:15 PM

        Nanbankan on Santa Monica, just a block from Sawtelle. Call soon because they do have a very loyal following (including myself) and they are always full.

        1 Reply
        1. re: soniabegonia
          whatsfordinner Dec 9, 2010 11:24 AM


        2. d
          DReborn Dec 8, 2010 02:50 PM

          Sawtelle is solid if you know the place but can be somewhat "adverturesome" for people not familiar with it

          Anybody been to the Yard in santa monica?

          2 Replies
          1. re: DReborn
            liu Dec 8, 2010 06:52 PM

            We went to the Yard in Santa Monica recently for lunch and it would not be my choice for a return visit.
            I am not a drinker, so my "take" is a little different from one who likes that pub feel. I ordered their tacos and the portion was small-plate while the price was grande. The service was friendly -- even a little flirtatious as one might expect in a bar -- but not remarkable or in keeping with the inflated prices. I left with an uneasy feeling and not satisfied.

            1. re: DReborn
              veee Dec 9, 2010 09:03 PM

              I celebrated my 30th at The Yard in santa monica.
              The service was great. The cocktails were delish. The food was good, but not the most amazing ever. It's a cute space and the staff were really nice, even though most of our group was late, etc.

            2. yinyangdi Dec 8, 2010 11:56 AM

              I've revisited Sasaya a couple of times recently after seeing several naysayers on this board and found the food, drink, atmosphere, and service to be better than I remembered (and I have always liked this place).

              Izakaya Sasaya
              11613 Santa Monica Blvd
              West Los Angeles, CA 90025
              (310) 477-4404

              Sasaya Japanese Restaurant
              11613 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

              1. d
                DReborn Dec 8, 2010 08:55 AM

                thanks for the help

                I was thinking Bar Hayama but that fire table is awkward to sit and talk around

                Never been to Raku tho Furaibo is a good place.

                I am trying to stay in the santa monica, brentwood, west la, bev hills, weHo region.

                What about Wa Sushi?

                Raku Restaurant
                11678 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                Bar Hayama
                11300 Nebraska Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                2 Replies
                1. re: DReborn
                  Servorg Dec 8, 2010 08:56 AM

                  Haven't been to Wa. What about Robata Ya?

                  Robata Ya
                  2004 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                  1. re: DReborn
                    J.L. Dec 8, 2010 04:14 PM

                    Wa is a good choice! Intimate, with fun chefs, and good food. As long as you don't mind that it's on the second floor of a mini-mall.

                  2. b
                    bulavinaka Dec 7, 2010 05:50 PM

                    You didn't mention a specific area in LA, so I'm taking some license here and assuming you mean just around the LA area. Have you tried calling the Musha in Torrance? This location is bigger and IMHO better. Also in the same shopping center - right across the parking lot - is Torihei. You could also reserve a tatami room for your group at Sanuki no Sato in Gardena.

                    1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

                    1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

                    1. J.L. Dec 7, 2010 05:26 PM

                      FuRaiBo (on Sawtelle).
                      Honda Ya (in Little Tokyo, corner of 3rd & Alameda).

                      1. Servorg Dec 7, 2010 04:03 PM

                        Raku on Olympic? Or Bar Hayama on Sawtelle?

                        Raku Restaurant
                        11678 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                        Bar Hayama
                        11300 Nebraska Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90025

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