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Dallas Morning News
Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Tue–Thu 11:30am–2:00pm
Tue–Thu 5:30pm–10:00pm
Fri 11:30am–2:00pm
Fri 5:30pm–10:30pm
Sat 5:30pm–10:30pm
Sun 5:30pm–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted


Northwest Hills
3407 Greystone Dr.
Austin, TX
(512) 795-8593
Dine as if you’re in a subterranean Tokyo haunt—or an ancient Nagara fishing boat

Still holding strong in our top three for Japanese, Musashino is thankfully unsullied by any imagined need to revamp itself. Where we prefer Ryu for its cooked Japanese cuisine, the fish here’s just a bit better, and the selection a little fuller. The inside’s like the inside of a 19th-century Japanese fishing boat; between the net-and-puffer-fish décor and the cute waitresses in their matching T-shirts, the atmosphere’s almost too much, but the lighting’s warm, the crowd’s vibrant, and the fish is impeccably fresh, some of it flown in daily from Japan. Expect a lengthy wait even on weeknights. The sushi bar’s one of the most vibrant in Austin, full of shouts and hacks. There you’ll see some rare treats like monkfish liver, one of life’s greatest pleasures. The cold sake selection’s good, not great; certainly better than the nonsensical big-California wines that are ill suited to the food.

Grilled mackerel with rice is a filling, relatively cheap, and outstanding lunch; better, with a side of great kimchi. While there’s no cuisine-fusing pizazz like at Uchi, the traditional fish is excellent. But stick to à-la-carte nigiri; the omakase and chef’s selection sashimi is underwhelming for the price, if pretty to look at. Sushi rice is shorter-grained and assertively seasoned; saba and uni, often tricky elsewhere, are sublime here, the latter buttermilky and not overly chilled. Order with abandon.

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