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Musha’s Cheese Risotto (Torrance)

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My last visit to the Southland in March started with dinner at Musha in Torrance exactly 12 hours after I started my drive. Still can’t believe that I pulled into the parking lot exactly on time to meet my friend for our 8:00 reservation. Both locations of Musha are well-documented on the site, so I don’t have much to add. I loved our waiter. When I asked him to tell me about the spicy tuna dip he said, “Well, it’s made of tuna . . . “ to which I added, “and don’t tell me, maybe it’s spicy too.” Liked almost everything we ordered, yet have to give a special shout out to the cheese risotto.

Here’s the description on the menu:
“Italian dish with Japanese creation. Japanese grain brown rice cooked with chicken both. Then panfried with bacon, onion, and a touch of heavy cream. Served in a whole cheese bowl to your table. 8.80”
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

Somehow reading the words "served in a whole cheese bowl" failed to convey to me the true image of how this dish would be served. The cheese risotto was presented at tableside in a ginormous hollowed-out wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano. Scraped and stirred, then transferred to a smaller plate. The heavy cream and smoky bacon represented everything I detest about overloaded risotto preps, but OMG, this was tasty. We almost ordered another one. Only ding, our waiter laughed at me when I said I’d like the cheese bowl wrapped to go.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

We also had the fried rice dish described just above it on that menu page. Unlike my usual protein-heavy izakaya meals, this one turned out to be carb-loaded. Another favorite, tofu nuggets, made a savory swing toward the protein side. Takotama turned out to be greasy chow mein, well, yakisoba sandwiched between dried out slabs of chewy octopus omelet, the one true miss of the meal for me. Loved the idea, but not the execution of that one. The rest of the meal is lost from memory. I just know that I’m looking forward to revisiting the menu.

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Musha
1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

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  1. i love musha in torrance. that cheese risotto is so rich, but whenever i go with friends, we each have a couple bites and cant eat anymore! but it is so smoky and delicious. and i love the chewiness of the brown rice, it really adds to the texture.

    1 Reply
    1. re: elnora

      I actually found the cheese risotto portions to be too small!! It was so good, I wanted more, but unfortunately there just wasn't enough. There were maybe four of us. In fact, both times I went to Musha with about 3-4 other people, we all left still kinda hungry, though our mouths certainly enjoyed what we ate.

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      Musha
      424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

    2. That bowl made of parmesan looks great. But I can't imagine the DOH signing off on that.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bob Brooks

        The "bowl" is not left at the table. it's a wonderful table side prep display and once the risotto is scooped out onto a plate for serving, The "bowl" is taken away.

        1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

          I didn't realize that. That's obviously much better than leaving it for people to eat from and then reusing it. I still wonder, though, if that practice would be acceptable.Repeatedly putting cooked food into a block of cheese and then serving from it still seems like a no-no.