Bushido Izakaya – Mountain View, CA

Bushido prides itself for being a Izakaya restaurant in Mountain View for the past couple years; my friends rave about their cocktails and brought me here on a Saturday evening. Bushido celebrated its second year anniversary when I dined here (about a month ago).

The place is not very big but was very trendy.

Menu is quite extensive with a featured specials page (I like to order a few of the specials because it has to be good if they feature it right?? ^_^). There are noodles, rice and lots of small plates of seafood, meat or vegetables.

We ordered

Pork Bun (Complimentary) $7

Glazed and smoked pork belly with pickled vegetables, lettuce on a steamed bun.

I am quite torn about this dish as a whole – The buns itself were so good! So light and fluffy and actually stayed soft even when cold, which is quite rare (at least from my experience) and it tasted and looked like they make it in house. The pork was pieces of braised pork with some pickled veggies. Pretty good but I probably won’t order it if I had to pay $7…

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Miyagi & Kumamoto Combo $9

Great oysters! I definitely want to come back for their $1 oysters especially if we are served either one of these two choices. I typically like my oysters as is, with just a squeeze of lemon; in this instance the  ponzu was diluted and so the oysters were still sweet and briney.

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Hamachi Carpaccio $15

Hamachi, Avocado, Daikon sprouts drizzled with chili oil and special ponzu.

Pretty small serving but very well prepared dish. The hamachi was extremely fresh, it was firm with a nice lemony aftertaste. The chili oil didn’t really add much to the dish but I liked the hint of citrusy ponzu.

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Sanume Ika $9

Salted and grilled whole squid.

One of my favourite dish of the night. The squid was surprisingly tender and smoky. I am so used to overcooked tough chewy pieces whenever this dish is ordered so I appreciated how well the dish was prepared. Lightly seasoned and served with some ponzu/soy mix that is salty and a little vinegary.

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Okonomiyaki – Seafood $10.50

Japanese pancake garnished with bonito flakes & red pickled ginger, served with a special sauce & mayonnaise

Not bad but a little too moist and gummy. The “pancake” mix part was not cooked through and so some parts were a little too wet and had the taste of uncooked flour. It has generous amount of imitation crab and other bits of unidentifiable seafood pieces. Great flavour profile but not a great dish as a whole – too much like getting some pancake mix, dumping frozen seafood and pan frying it.

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Chicken Karaage $7

Seasoned and fried chicken thigh.

Not too bad a version of fried chicken. The chicken was pretty moist and seasoned very well. I liked the mayo that it is served it (not too sure what is mixed with the mayo but it had quite some punch). The breading was a little heavy and thick but at least it was super crispy.

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Miso Black Cod $13

Broiled black cod marinated in miso.

Amazing dish! Another small serving but it was so good I would order this again in a heartbeat even for $13! The miso was not overwhelming but definitely present, and it caramelised nicely on the grill giving the fish a nice smoky flavour. The fish itself was grilled almost to perfection – glistening and flaky, it literally melted in the mouth.

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Yakitori Combo $10

Tongue, Chicken, Heart, Tsukune

The tongue and Heart were the best! I honestly don’t remember when the last time I had chicken heart but it was pretty close to the texture of the gizzard but with cleaner aftertaste (if that makes any sense). The chicken yakitori was disappointing; bland and dry while the tsukune was a pretty boring tasting chicken meatball. The yakitori was missing the signature smokiness that I get when I have yakitori at other places that specialises in them (Gaku/Sumika)

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Hamachi Kama Shioyaki $12

Grilled yellowtail collar served with lemon wedges & Japanese grated radish.

Delicious! The collar had great smokiness from the grill and the skin was very crispy. Lightly seasoned with salt so the natural flavours were the focus. The flesh was moist and flaky.. I polished two thirds of this since everyone else was pretty full!

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3 mushroom Fried Rice $8

Fried rice made with enoki shiitake & shimeji mushrooms, seasoned with a garlic soy sauce.

I was eyeing the mushroom fried rice the moment I saw it on the menu but it was pretty disappointing. The rice was a little too al dente and seasoning was not even throughout. Some of the rice was bland while other bits were salty. The garlic and mushrooms were good tho – they used the the popular Japanese Shimeji mushrooms (white and brown)

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Extras:
2 Mandarin Lychee Soda
$3 each – So simple yet it is so mindblowingly tasty!
Berry Blossom $10 – Refreshing & delicious.
Soju Caipirinha $9
House Sake (Small) $4
Coffee (Complimentary) – Decent coffee.

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Total Damage: $165 (including tax & tip)

Personal Rating: 3 out of 5 (Good)

Service was excellent. The owner was there the whole time and he made sure to check back on the table when the servers were not around. We ended up sitting around for a good 2 hours or so and we did get our plates consistently cleared and checked back.

The food came out steadily a good 10 minutes after ordering and every dish was the temperature it was suppose to be. My only gripe was probably how expensive the cocktails were while the food ranged from being reasonable to a tad pricey.

All in all, good food and great service.

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Bushido

156 Castro Street
Mountain View, CA 94041

(650) 386 6821

Bushido on Urbanspoon

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