>> [CLOSED] Menya Musashi Niten Ichiryu | Eat the World Los Angeles

Sunday 21 April 2019

[CLOSED] Menya Musashi Niten Ichiryu

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UPDATE: CLOSED. An updated version of this article (11 December 2023) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:

It is more fun to come here knowing the full meaning of the name, for it has everything to do with how the menu is presented and should be approached. "Niten ichiryu" refers to a classical style of swordsmanship in Japan involving a long sword in one hand and a short one in the other, used in conjunction. This style was first used by sword master Musashi Miyamota and was respected deep enough by the founder of the restaurant to become its name.

When this method of swordsmanship was translated into cooking and a menu, it was in the form of two parts, ramen or tsukemen was combined with tonkotsu and large pieces of kakuni to create the meal desired. After opening 14 restaurants in Japan, the brand has expanded across Asia before coming to the United States first at this Westside location and eventually to Seattle.

While there is some bar seating indoors amongst posters of the master Musashi, most of the seating is outside on busy Sawtelle Blvd but comfortably separated from the street and sidewalk. On nice evenings the patio is the perfect place to explore the menu.

Not in the mood for noodles? It is possible you have come to the wrong place, but don't fret! They've got you covered. The musashi don ($10, above) features two of their outstanding cubes of kakuni (braised pork belly) over rice. This comes served with a soft-boiled egg that oozes perfectly when punctured and bamboo shoots.

Always preferring ramen over tsukemen, a bowl of the kakuni ramen ($12.50, above and below) was ordered and thoroughly enjoyed. While technically there is a choice between thick and thin noodles, no questions were asked and thick were provided, which rather than being annoying was actually an interesting change of pace.

The tonkotsu broth here is made from fish as well as the normal pork bones, which gives it a slightly more full and rounded taste which plays just a touch less fatty than usual. If you are feeling up to it, for $18 you can get their premier bowl of ramen that in addition to two pieces of kakuni also includes the soft boiled egg and a fried pork cutlet.

What might be the ultimate experience of the restaurant though is their homemade spicy fried garlic (below), which can be found in a jar on every table. Is it worth coming to eat just for a condiment? Soaked in sesame oil, this one really tries hard to prove its case for that and is thoroughly applied to everything ever ordered.


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