pamela

Studio Crew Reviews: Mua

Good news! After we all waited nervously for several months, Sasha's visa was finally approved and she'll be staying with us as digital technician supreme. To celebrate, Sasha's parents treated the studio crew to a special dinner. Sasha researched the many exciting restaurants in our new neighborhood before she selected Mua, a hip and trendy bar and restaurant in mid-Oakland. The restaurant offers vegan, non-vegan and gluten-free dishes, so there was something for everyone's tastes and dietary restrictions.

Lush exterior of the restaurant. Photo by Sasha. 

Lush exterior of the restaurant. Photo by Sasha. 

Unique interior decorations. Photo by Sasha. 

Unique interior decorations. Photo by Sasha. 

Our first impression was that we loved the space. The exterior of this former warehouse is gorgeous, although it feels somewhat out of place surrounded as it is by car dealerships. Basquiat-inspired drawings and graffiti adorn the walls inside that retain the character of the former warehouse.  

There was ample seating, especially when we arrived at 6 p.m., but as the night went on, tables filled up. The restaurant was large enough to accommodate the crowd, however, and the service was always quick and efficient, so we never felt like our table was unattended.

The studio crew. Photo by Pamela. 

The studio crew. Photo by Pamela. 

Drinks and appetizers. Photo by Pamela. 

Drinks and appetizers. Photo by Pamela. 

The strawberry lemonade was delicious, although a bit sour. We also ordered a variety of appetizers, including the grilled artichoke, chips & guacamole, "no-cheese mac & cheese," and Brussels sprouts. We enjoyed comparing ways to eat artichokes, but our favorite appetizers were ultimately the mac and cheese and the Brussels sprouts.

The whisky tasting board. Photo by Noel. 

The whisky tasting board. Photo by Noel. 

A table of photographers means everybody was equipped with their cameras. The "No Cheese Mac and Cheese" was also a crew favorite. Photos by Noel

A table of photographers means everybody was equipped with their cameras. The "No Cheese Mac and Cheese" was also a crew favorite. Photos by Noel

The upstairs loft had a DJ! Photo by Dana. 

The upstairs loft had a DJ! Photo by Dana. 

The restaurant's sign is illuminated by a vintage spotlight. Photo by Pam.

The restaurant's sign is illuminated by a vintage spotlight. Photo by Pam.

 

 

THE REVIEWS

Studio Crew Reviews: FuseBox

For our second Studio Crew Review, we decided to choose a restaurant that is within walking distance to the studio. FuseBox has gotten great reviews on Yelp (an average of 4 stars over 200 reviews), and it features fusion asian cuisine-- a combination of Korean and Japanese influence.

As you read this blog post (and any future Studio Crew Reviews), you might notice a variation of photographic styles. Each review draws photos from each of the studio crew members, as we are all practicing photographers outside of the studio as well! On any given review, we will have a combination of photo taking techniques, ranging from iPhones to dSLRs. 

Dwell Magazine-esque exteriors. This restaurant can be easy to miss, as the only indicator of its street presence is the sandwich board advertisement on the sidewalk. Photos by Dana.

Dwell Magazine-esque exteriors. This restaurant can be easy to miss, as the only indicator of its street presence is the sandwich board advertisement on the sidewalk. Photos by Dana.

Exclusive seating inside, with beautiful interior design. Photo by Dana.

Exclusive seating inside, with beautiful interior design. Photo by Dana.

When we first arrived at the restaurant, it became apparent how small it was. The restaurant does not easily accomodate large groups, as most tables inside are arranged for 2-4 people, max. Outside, there was a large table that we were able to sit at. Since we had a reservation, we were quickly seated.

Photo by Pamela

Photo by Pamela

Dehydrated Kimchi Popcorn, which unfortunately was a bit stale. Photo by Sasha.

Dehydrated Kimchi Popcorn, which unfortunately was a bit stale. Photo by Sasha.

Service was a bit slow, considering that there were not very many people at the restaurant, but perhaps it felt slower to us because we were a hungry crew coming straight after work! As soon as we were seated, we poured over the menus. The menu was definitely geared more towards carnivores, as many of the "vegetarian" dishes featured sauces that contained meat bases.

Pickled vegetables to accompany the main courses and the miso butter grilled corn. Photos by Noel.

Pickled vegetables to accompany the main courses and the miso butter grilled corn. Photos by Noel.

Appetizers, including the Korean Fried Chicken (KFC). Photo by Dana.

Appetizers, including the Korean Fried Chicken (KFC). Photo by Dana.

One of our favorite dishes of the night was the KFC, we were surprised as to how crispy the chicken was, despite being covered in sauce. The chicken was crunchy on the outside, yet moist on the inside. We also enjoyed the Agedashi Tofu, although the portion was definitely too small to share with a group. Our waitress recommended splitting one main entree between two people to achieve the appropriate proportions.

A table full of photographers requires patience. Photos by Pete.

A table full of photographers requires patience. Photos by Pete.

Photo by Pete.

Photo by Pete.

The exterior of the restaurant with the crew at the table. Note, there were no heat lamps, so we kept our jackets and hats on. Photo by Pete. 

The exterior of the restaurant with the crew at the table. Note, there were no heat lamps, so we kept our jackets and hats on. Photo by Pete. 

Photos by Noel

Photos by Noel

Finally, after a (seemingly) long wait, we received our main courses! The delicious Galbi Beef, which was cooked perfectly! The beef was also accompanied by thinly sliced deep fried carrots, and grilled snap peas

 

FuseBox

2311 Magnolia Street

Oakland, CA

 

(510) 444-3100