Musha Izakaya

1.  Had a colonoscopy and endoscopy last Thursday to look into the stomach problems I’ve been having. Turned up nothing, but I was still having pain and other various uncomfortable stomach symptoms. I had a follow up right before my trip. The GI doc thinks it may just be really terrible IBS combined with acid reflux, and I’m trying out meds for both for a while. I’ve got to go back to the doc in a month.

2. I’m on a boat! J Thursday my grandparents and I flew up to Seattle and we stayed overnight, we boarded Friday and now I’m in Ketchikan, Alaska, although I started working on this in the middle of the ocean!  Trying to keep up my health regimen will be HARD on this trip! There’s so much food and it’s delicious!!

3.  Speaking of good food, I was STARVING the evening after my scopes, since I wasn’t allowed to eat anything for like 24 hours. So my dad took me to one of my favorite restaurants, MUSHA! I had Musha for the first time with my friend Aimee about a year or so ago in Santa Monica, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I like a good izakaya place, and Musha is exactly that. When I discovered there was a relatively new location in Pasadena I did the happy dance! Here are what I think are their star dishes:

Tofu Fries
Tofu cut into strips, battered and fried, and served with a wasabi mayo, and a sweet and sour sauce. Yum!

Aburi Shime Saba
Rice Vinegar marinated mackerel, sashimi sliced, and broiled with a torch at the table. Not only is this dish delicious, but the presentation is impressive. I think more things should be blow torched at the table…

M.F.C (Musha fried chicken)
This might be my favorite thing on the menu. Well, it’s kind of a toss up between this and the saba, but this is SO good. I mean it’s basically just karage, but they marinate the chicken in sake, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. It’s served with ponzu, and I’ve never admitted this, but I have a little bit of a ponzu addiction. I mean like I could drink it out of the bottle. It’s gross, I know, but ponzu is SO good. This chicken is SO good.

Asari Garlic Butter
Manilla Clams and various mushrooms sautéed in their garlic butter sauce. Full of umami, I wish bread was a Japanese thing, because I always want to drink the sauce afterwards. (Hint? Wink? Nudge?!)

Pork belly, boiled for 4 hours so it’s stupid tender. Served with a boiled egg and these potatoes that have soaked up the sweet sauce. Um. Yeah.

Yaki Toumorokoshi
Basically grilled corn served with butter/soy sauce. This is how we had corn when we barbequed at my house when I was growing up. Grandma would basically glaze the corn with soy sauce and butter and this was just a fancy, yet delicious version of that.

Ponzu Duck
Thinly sliced duck breast served chilled with ponzu (I love ponzu!) and oroshi daikon. Topped with Tokyo leek.

Cheese Risotto
Japanese brown rice cooked in chicken broth, then pan fried with bacon, onion and heavy cream.  Then they dump it in this GIANT block of cheese mixing it around so that it gets some awesome cheesy essence before serving it to you in bowls.

Anagomeshi Hot Stone
Glazed sea eel, hijiki seaweed and mistuba leaf mixed rice in a hot stone bowl. They bring it out and mix it up for you at the table.

T.K.U. (I have no idea what it stands for)
Udon tossed with pollack caviar and butter. Topped with shiso leaves, kimchee, and nori. This was another dish I wish came with something to slurp the sauce. I think it needed to be served with a spoon so you could spoon the sauce over your noodles. And it was served on a plate making it even harder to get the sauce. I think serving this dish in a bowl would make it much easier to eat, because it’s just so damn good you want to lick the plate. And apparently that’s bad manners.

My pops outside Musha Pasadena – according to their signage it looks like they’re a Japanese transplant! :)

58 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 405-1518

Musha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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