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Musu in Sea Cliff: First bites

Whitefish tiradito at Musu restaurant in Sea Cliff.

Whitefish tiradito at Musu restaurant in Sea Cliff. (Oct. 2012) Credit: Newsday Peter Gianotti

With a little wordplay and a lot more change, what used to be Once Upon a Moose now is Wansuapona Musu.

Before you groan, know that the latest occupant at 304 Sea Cliff Ave. is a stylish, very good nouveau Japanese restaurant.

The look is suburban SoHo, with suitably distressed appointments that suggest a buying spree at Urban Archaeology. But the bones of the vintage, corner site are strong.

So's the food, in a colorful, Nobu kind of way.

You'll find some Peruvian influence in the fluke tiradito, seasoned with cilantro, shallots, garlic chips and a zesty aji amarillo sauce.  And an even more eclectic approach with the "Asian guacamole," finished with ginger and peanuts, served with fried plantains.

Sushi rolls range from the familiar to the ornate. The "phish sandwich" brings together spicy tuna, avocado, bonito flakes, red tobiko, sweet soy, more, in a series of triangles. "Love of My Life" takes in crunchy and spicy salmon, sundried tomato and avocado, wrapped with mango, completed with cucumber relish and roe.

Clear your head with the genuinely spicy miso ramen, a chile-red broth floating wheat noodles, sweet corn, boiled spinach, scallion, soy egg, bamboo shoot and inch-long cuts of pork belly.

Musu seats about 30 contented diners. It's open for dinner, from 5:30 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday.

Wansuapona Musu 304 Sea Cliff Ave., Sea Cliff; 516-671-2493.

Tiradito at Musu.


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