As previously mentioned here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/996598 there is a lot of exciting restaurant activity in Santa Monica these days. Cadet, Brilliantshine, and now Takuma. I for one am pleased to see, at least some of it, moving a bit East - away from the overcrowded beach side of town. So after the shout out from paranoidgarlic lover about Takuma, we decided to try it on LA's rainiest night since...well who knows? Clearly the Izakaya style that Musha and Yabu successfully brought to SaMo is at work but, perhaps, Takuma is brining a somewhat more refined cooking to the mix. And it is a lot easier to get in (at least now).
What could be better than very cold Sapporo and very warm Oden soup on a cold rainy night? Not much for me. Last time I saw Oden in SaMo it may have been raining and Clinton may have been reigning. Really good stuff this time of year. We also had a fantastic squid cooked on the table in a thick metal dish over a flame with a yummy, rich miso paste and soy broth. Fine soba with mountain potato and okra, as well as a Hajiki seaweed salad and a great marinated Japanese eggplant (in my experience it is rare to find a really nicely done Japanese eggplant dish that doesn't follow the usual miso formula, which last night would have competed - and lost - with the squid in a miso-mami duel).
Did I mention that cold Sapporo? It is funny how few places properly chill a lager.
I'm going back to Takuma soon.