Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Block Party at Musha's

It’s only May, but I already know that my favorite movie this year has got to be Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. This film follows Dave Chappelle and his quest to throw the ultimate Hip Hop block party in Brooklyn. Chappelle showcased his most respected friends in the hip hop industry, who just happen to be some of my most favorite socially/lyrically conscious hip hop artists. The block party docuconcert (documentary of a concert) showcased an amazing line-up with Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Dead Prez, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Common and the reunited Fugees just to name a few. I've seen most of these guys before...the Roots and Talib Kweli at UCLA and New Orleans, Mos in LA several times, John Legend in New Orleans, Common in LA, Wylcef at the Bowl...but nowhere else have I seen THEM ALL perform at the same concert. This is monumental I tell ya.

In the days where hip hop has become synonymous with booties, glitz, and violence, it takes guys like the Roots, Mos, Talib, Common and Dead Prez to remind us that hip hop was and is about a voice. And it takes a crazy guy like Dave to bring them all together. The film followed Chappelle to his hometown in Ohio where Dave brought along gifts--Golden Tickets to the block party along with a free bus ride to NY and accommodations. Dave's generous and down to earth self walked around town to chat and joke with the locals. He handed tickets out to a middle-aged white convenience store cashier who's been selling him cigarettes over the years. Dave visited this lady later on as she packed her bags and whined, "I knew I should've bought a thong." The theatre simutaneously cringed.

What I appreciated most about Block Party was watching how these artists interacted once they all were in Brooklyn. In their lifetime of love and dedication for hip hop, the artists have nothing but respect for each other through their common passion. In the midst of mainstreamed hip hop, it's refreshing to know that there are still people looking for the real hip hop. Dave Chappelle's Block Party reminds us of what is going right in the hip hop world.

So when Dylan of EatDrink&BeMerry rounded some of us LA Foodbloggers together at Musha in Torrance, I couldn’t help but think of Chappelle and his block party. Now I know Dylan isn't Dave Chappelle and we’re anything but hip hop artists, but like the Block Party crew, we all have a common denominator (..heehee...I love math), and that was we all loved good food.

Meeting up with them for the first time felt like the closest thing to a blind date. As I drove towards Musha random thoughts pervaded my mind. "Ohmygosh, what do I do when it gets quiet? Will they like me? Don't get anything stuck in your teeth. How will I find them??? Don't act stupid Jeni." Well, those worries quickly slipped away once I walked up to the restaurant and walked straight into the mob of foodbloggers. As everyone introduced themselves, all I could think of was, "Wow...I finally know what you look like!" After 20 minutes of chatting outside, we finally headed inside of the dimly lit Musha's. I sat next to very kawaii (cute) Kristy from Best of LA who I was very happy to sit next because she's just so super sweet.
Oishii Eats and Best of LA

To my right, I chatted with Dorothy, a lovely friend of Professor Salt. I talked about the awesomeness of Little Saigon with Jonah from LA Foodblogging and his wife. Dylan was busy hosting the group, but came back every now and then to make sure I was eating the good stuff. I saw a guy across the table and knew he was crazy Ron from The Random Burrito. I waved at him and he enthusiastically waved back. Yea, I knew that was Ron. Colleen Cuisine showed up a little later, and we couldn't help but hug each other. We've only known each other online for a couple of months, but I got love for that girl! I was in awe of Eddie Lin's (Deep End Dining) cool leather jacket and ultra mellowness. Steve Wasser from Gastrologica and I got to talk about buying property and he pretty much helped me decide to wait a little bit. (Thanks Steve.) Oh, and let's not forget Pam from Daily Gluttony. Pam is a trip. I enjoyed just hearing her laugh and listening to the voice that got me all into this foodblogging thang.
EDNBM, Oishii Eats, Colleen Cuisine, Deep End Dining

And now on to the food.
How dangerous can it be for a restaurant to be bombarded with a mob of hungry foodbloggers? Once the food started coming out, so did the cameras. Here's Kristy working hard.

Since Musha's an izakaya, our large group separated into teams of 3-4 people for easier eating. I was thankful that in my triad (me, Kristy, and Dylan), Kristy and Dylan were Musha regulars and they knew exactly what to order.
Musha salad: Gomadare dressing over green stuff

Some sort of duck meat with ponzu. Quack!

My favorite yakiniku niku (meat): TANSHIO...beef tongue!

Nitro Tanshio...the American Gladiator of meats

I forgot what this was called, but it seemed like a Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.

MFC...Musha Fried Chicken

Buta Kakuni...braised buta (pig) butt!

Ebi Furai...fried shrimp

My top three dishes were the Buta Kakuni (braised pork butt), MFC (Musha Fried Chicken), and the tanshio (beef tongue). The Buta Kakuni was very tender and juicy. Totally reminds me of the Vietnamese clay pot stuff my mom makes. MMMM. The MFC was sooooo OISHII! And it's not because I have a soft spot for fried chicken, I think anyone would love Musha's Fried Chicken! My last favorite dish was tanshio just because I love beef tongue. It's good and lean meat...really.

I love that there still are people who appreciate the moms and pops, and value quality and taste over the comfort and convenience of the chains. It's even cooler when these people happen to be some of the most laid back/coolest people in LA. My night at Musha's was great. I heart my foodblogging buddies!

"Attention Huxtubles. There is a Block Party down the street. Bring Yourselves. BRING YOURSELVES! And bring Rudy, Theo, and Denise." -Dave Chappelle

1725 Carson St., Suite B
Torrance, Ca 90501
(310) 787-7344


rick james said...


nice post... as my east coast friends would say.. that was good times... ;p

it was really cool to meet up with everyone, and like you said everyone was pretty laid back and considerate. coming from a pseudo-foodblogger, i think its a common trait amongst y'all which is a rarity in L.A... good for you LA Food Bloggers!!!

anyways, i'm just a deciphile of Daily Gluttony, i go by rule of Pam, so i dunno where i got this bad rap from... dunno why people think i'm crAAAAAAAaaaZZZzzzzzZYYyyyYYYyyy ?

and my name really ain't Ron...

I'm Rick James Bitch!!!!!!!!!

Kirk said...

Hi Jeni - Sounds like a great time - I enjoyed all the "smile" photos. I'm hoping to be able to meet you all one day.

Colleen Cuisine said...

Yay Jeni! It's so fun to read your review on Musha... it makes me feel like I was there. Oh wait, I was! =)
It was so fun to finally meet you - can't wait to hang out with you again at Manna!

Jeni said...

Hey Rick James...you are crazy. I'm sure you're crazier over Korean BBQ. Can't wait for Manna!

Kirk...we missed you at Musha's Hope I can meet you and the Missus soon!

Colleen Cuisine...Manna is gonna be so fun. I can't wait to sweat meat and garlic! Haaaaaay! Sit closer to me ok!

BoLA said...

Hi Jeni! Great post...brought back good memories, fo sho. ;) Can't wait for Manna to get my meat grubbin on!

rick james said...

hey jeni, when is the manna thing going down?

Jeni said...

Kirsty...I found that sake we drank at Musha's at Marukai on sale. It is very yummy and is helping me warm up my new pad. Thanks girl! I'm coming to you for sake rec's.

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Hi buddy, great posting as usual. I'll wait for Block Party to hit Netflix. I hate going to the theatres. Yes, next dinner will be fun for sure. We will all reek of garlic goodness. I may still be up for Soundlessons... Farina isn't spinning house... it's more of chill downtempo/jazz.

Jeni said...

Dylan, you can borrow my copy of Block Party...I'm sure I'm gonna buy it. JUNE 13th!!!

I'm looking forward to Manna. Gonna be reeking some beautiful beef goodness.

Tokyoastrogirl said...

:(. I am bummed that I couldn't make it. The food (and you all, or at least your chins!) looks great. I hope to make the next outing.

Daily Gluttony said...

and what an awesome block party it was!!! it was so cool to meet all you guys! can't wait for manna--gonna be good garlicky times!

Jeni said...

TAG...I really hope you make it to the next outing. We'll talk Japan over Korean bbq! Pan, onsens, dezaato....WOOOO!

Paaaaam...can I tell you how much I enjoyed talking to you and ultra-chill Isaac??? Manna will be good. I'll be ready to grub...gonna be wearing some elastic waisted jeans. HOT!

Eddie Lin said...


See you at All U Can Eat Korean BBQ!!

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