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“Great combination of quality and convenience”
Review of Musashi

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Ranked #158 of 726 Restaurants in Berkeley
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese
Restaurant details
Reviewed 13 April 2017

Berkeley has some v. good Japanese restaurants and this is one of them. But unlike several of the others (eg Kiraku, Ippuku) it is much more relaxed and easy to get into. I try to get there before 7pm because they usually have happy hour specials before 7pm. Usually no wait to get a seat.

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Thank NJtraveler0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 December 2016

About 10 years ago an aunt of ours recommended Musashi to us. She had been going there for years. Since then we have ordered a number of take out party platters for family Thanksgiving and New Year celebrations. We have been consistently impressed with the quality and presentation of the food. The sashimi is always fresh and perfectly cut. Many restaurants claim to serve Japanese cuisine but they aren't really doing so. Often the owners of, and the sushi men preparing food, at Sushi bar restaurants are not Japanese. This observation is not a comment on race or ethnicity it's a comment on knowing what Japanese food is and what it isn't because you are Japanese and you take pride in recreating dishes you have known all your life. Musashi is a real gem in a genre that is fast being co opted for profit and not for quality and authenticity.

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Thank arimaart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2016

I have been to Japan more than fifty times, and several of those trips involved stays of multiple months. If you add it all up, I have spent 2.5 years of my life in Japan, and loved it there. Needless to say, I have had lots of exposure to Japanese food in both major cities and in the bucolic wilds. My hosts have treated me to the full range from $300/person dinners to visits their favorite hole in the wall. Musashi, more than any of the other places I have been to here in the Bay Area, reminds me of going to a little family-run izakaya and settling in for some food, drink, and conversation. I have never had anything less than a very good experience there. It only had six reviews in English when I submitted this. I am wondering whether all the regulars are conspiring to keep this place a secret.

It is useful to know that they open for lunch (Tues-Fri) and dinner (Tues-Sat; check their website for specific hours and specials), and my wife and I tend to go just when they open (5:30 PM) for dinner. This avoids having to wait to be seated. It is a small restaurant, they do not accept reservations, and they do not accept parties larger than 6 people. You have been forewarned. On Tuesday thru Friday, there is a happy hour that runs from 5:30 to 7 PM. Selected beers, sake, and sho chu as well as a number of small plates are offered at reduced prices. One could make a full meal out of the offerings; we usually choose a few dishes as appetizers and then move on to a regular dinner. Of the happy hour dishes, I regularly order some combination of the kara-age (fried chicken), agedashi tofu, sashimi, and sake sushi (usually ahi tuna with the rice flavored with sake). They also have a skewered ground chicken meatball that is done on the grill that I get fonder of each time I eat it. (Look on the robata menu.) If I had to choose only one appetizer, it would be the kara-age. It is a dish I order wherever it is available, and although I have paid three times as much for this dish as at Musashi, I have never had a version that is better. For dinner, one of our regular dishes there is the chirashi, which comes in a smaller version and a full dinner version. The full dinner version comes with a bowl of miso soup, and a small plate of pickled vegetables (tsukemono). If you are not familiar with chirashi, I guess you could call it “deconstructed” sushi, a bowl with rice on the bottom, and then an assortment of fish on top. It often includes ahi, Hamachi, some ika, saba, ebi (shrimp), and a variety of other fish. Every time I have gone, the fish has been impeccably fresh. This is another dish I have had elsewhere in the area, but I enjoy the version here the most. We usually end up with the same Japanese-speaking waitress, and she is really terrific.

There are many many Japanese restaurants in the East Bay, and I have been to many of them, and enjoy most of them. When all is said and done, regardless of the restaurant I have tried (Mitama, Kirala, Manpuku, Norikonoko, Yoshu-ya, O Chame, Iyasare, Takara, Hana, Sasa Isakaya, etc.), when you factor everything in, this remains my favorite Japanese restaurant in the East Bay. It is also one of the best values around. 4.5 stars if I could.

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Thank Andreas G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2016

I'm pretty picky about Japanese restaurants. I'm often disappointed when visiting small neighborhood restaurants. Not so the case at Musashi. I had dinner with my daughter and friends here last night. Musashi is a small place - pretty unassuming. We had a 30 minute wait on a Saturday night. The quality of the fish (critical of course) was great and the preparation of all the dishes very good. The tsukemono (pickles) at the start got my attention since they were freshly prepared and "just like my Mom used to make". Don't expect a fancy place - just a top notch little place.

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1  Thank gosaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2016 via mobile

The rolls and the fish where fresh and tasty. Just wish they had more choices on the menu. Very basic. The seaweed salad was also good but again, very basic. It is off a very tiny side street. Seems like an old, dirty, rundown area, lots of panhandlers. Shocking this is the location of the University of California Berkeley.

Thank Lisa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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