An izakaya is the Japanese version of a tapas/pub grub kind of place, where people gather after work for a drink and a bite--or perhaps just a drink or two or three. So explained our friends, Jeff and Marilyn. They spent two weeks in Japan on their honeymoon and developed quite a fondness for this style of eating and drinking, and they wanted to introduce Himself and me to their favorite izakaya, Musha in Torrance. Seeing as Torrance is home to the US headquarters of two of the largest Japanese automakers, Toyota and Honda, we knew we were in for an authentic experience.
Small plate dining is great, because you get to sample a lot of dishes without the risk of getting stuck with an entrée you don't like, always a hazard of forging into new culinary territory. Most of my experience with Japanese cuisine has been in the realm of sushi and sashimi, so it was nice to try something different.
Now, I'm back at home and would like to make something very basic, in the spirit of izakaya. I've decided on musubu, which reveals how simple and yet satisfying a Japanese dish can be. For the Japanese, rice is essentially sandwich bread, so when you tuck a piece of fish inside and give it a bit of seasoning, you have a Japanese sandwich.
After Himself and I nibbled our musubu as an appetizer, we headed out to our favorite sushi place for dinner. The izakaya was great fun, but we were ready for our old haunt and a nice array of sashimi. Ah, comfort food, Japanese style...