It had been forever since I'd eaten at Musashi! Before 2006, I had been a customer here probably at least 6 times. It was obvious nothing had changed during my visit in October.
The Good: You get a lot of value out of the teppanyaki meals! Having eaten at similar establishments on the East Coast, my fiancé had to read twice to ensure he understood the prices really did include the miso soup, salad, rice, and in some combos, the California Rolls. For 4 people and a total of 3 alcoholic cocktails, the bill was $108 after tax (but before tip); he said that was cheap compared to places he's been!! And Musashi did not skimp on the amount of food (though I was the only one who couldn't finish).
Service was good; they cleared our used dishes as the meal progressed, brought drinks quickly, and I enjoy the hot towel treatment at the beginning. Our cook was a young white dude who was very personable and thanked us each time we made comments on our food. My future-in-laws, who had never had teppanyaki, greatly enjoyed the entertainment (flames in the dinner plates, flare-ups on the griddle, the volcanic onion, etc). Lots of teppanyaki tables scattered throughout the various rooms, and on Wednesday night the place was about 60% full. I recommend making reservations just in case. Cute décor and the female servers wore traditional Japanese robes. Even with no music playing, the atmosphere is fun.
My Special B combo came with 8 pieces of California rolls, which had been rolled well, looked pretty, and came with the standard ginger root and wasabi. Miso soup had more root vegetables and tasted a little differently than at other places, but I liked it. The salad was obviously from a bag containing mostly iceberg lettuce, and it was drowned in a creamy citrus dressing that actually tasted ok but it was too much. Overall, it didn't stray too far from the average teppanyaki dinner salads I've had in other cities. Our red meat was cooked to order, and my steaks looked fresh and were not the cheapest cuts. Lots of sautéed veggies and mushrooms to go with the huge mound of rice. The underlying flavors were really good. My Ginza cocktail was refreshing, and I liked how all the fruity drinks got a maraschino cherry with a girly umbrella.
The Bad: Everything was too SALTY, more so than I remember from years past. The cooking sauces squirted onto our veggies and meat either had too much salt or the cook used too much of the sauces themselves. The dipping sauces also greatly surpassed our recommended sodium intake. The salt didn't quite render our meals inedible, but I could almost feel my blood pressure rising.
I don't think Musashi has been deep cleaned in a long time - everything looks exactly the way I remember it from 6 years ago, and even more grimy now. The sushi counter looks exactly the same, which is to say, get your sushi fix elsewhere. The red carpet and overhead vents sorely need to be replaced. And as usual, don't wear your Sunday best - there is a good chance you will get splashed with grease/sauce. No one I saw got splattered last night, but the smell of cooking oil clung to all of our hair and clothes afterwards. However, I expected all this.
Overall I still like Musashi. They've been doing this for years and I've always had a great time. But I'll have to try the other teppanyaki places in town to know if we made a good decision taking guests here.