I’m going to try and blog some of the places I eat on my travels here and there and everywhere. Don’t expect witty culinary criticism. However, I do tend to find some fun spots.
My SG and I decided to head into Old Towne for dinner tonight…feeling a bit sushi-ish, but not in the mood for A-Float (fun for taking the spawn, but average quality otherwise) so we headed towards another sushi restaurant we’d been to a few times.
It’s not there.
But we’re adventurous eaters so we said, “what the hey,” and decided to try the new tenant: Musha Izakaya.
Izakaya was described to us by the manager as “Japanese Tapas.” Okay, I get the concept. This is apparently a chain out of Japan, where they have 10 or so restaurants, this is their third in the US (LA area only so far) and the Pasadena local had been open all of seven days. The new location isn’t even on the website yet Each has a slightly varied menu with a few signature dishes that carry throughout.
Given that it wasn’t even seven yet, the place was pretty full. No problem getting a table, but tables didn’t sit empty for long. We sat at what had been the old sushi bar. It’s a little more lighthearted now, not as dark and moody in decor, the kind of place where everyone greets you as you come in.
It’s cold out for So.Cal (59degrees) so we both had miso soup to warm up. Forget your little plastic bowl of miso with a couple of chunks of tofu floating around at the bottom. A good size serving with carrots, large cuts of green onion, taro and shitaki mushrooms. Since we were in a sushi mood we ordered a spice tuna roll. Good. That was followed by yellow-tail carpachio — definitely not Italian — but served as thick sliced sashimi, with uni and a sprinkle of fried onion and a very light sauce I’m at a loss to describe. Very, very good.
The best, I’ll use the description off their website:
MUSHA’S CHEESE RISSOTO Italian dish with Japanese creation. Japanese grain brown rice cooked with chicken broth. Then pan fried with bacon onion and a touch of heavy cream. Served in a whole cheese bowl to your table.
That cheese bowl is a massive wedge of Parmesan cheese, with a bowl cut into it, so as they serve it into the bowls you eat it out of, it scrapes the Parmesan into the risotto. I could eat that until I was sick, it was so good.
Those three things were more than filling…that and a split pitcher of Asahi. They have a bunch of unusual beers and saki’s imported from Japan (but neither SG or I can handle saki) and everything that passed us looked and smelled wonderful (okay, not so much the squid ink pudding that was in the cold counter in front of us).
Definitely a place I’d go back to.