We walked in and I immediately fell in love with the ambiance. The bar was decorated with a large Japanese map, string lights, and bamboo. I've never been to Japan, so I can't speak to the actual authenticity, but I felt whisked away to a real izakaya. Obviously, pictures never do it justice, but I attempted all the same.
We ordered a couple of cocktails at the bar for our wait, but a table was ready for us by the time we got our drinks, so we enjoyed them there. I tried the Shinkansen Shochu and it was delicious. From our initial cocktails, we let our server make some Shochu suggestions and we spent the rest of the evening exploring their shochu selection.
To accompany this shochu journey, we also asked our server for some food recommendations. The Tako Yaki balls were an easy sell.
However, our server also told us that the Spicy Pickled Cucumber is another very popular dish, but we had our reservations. We couldn't understand why a pickle would be so popular. Oh boy are we glad we heeded his advice. This is no ordinary pickle, but a fresh, crispy bar delight.
I can't remember if the Pork Gyoza (dumplings) were on his list or not as well, but we had to try them too.
Another no-brainer order was the Buta Kimchee- stir fried pork belly and kimchee. As good as it sounds, we were in no way prepared for the skillet of awesome that appeared at our table. Definitely our favorite dish of the evening.
We also decided to try the ramen since we are always looking for a ramen place with less than a 2 hour wait. While it certainly doesn't replace our favorites, their ramen was enjoyable and will serve as our new backup during chilly weather.
And for dessert, who can resist green tea mochi ice cream. A perfect two bite way to end the meal on a sweet note!
We left excited and happy to have found a new neighborhood favorite!
|Izakaya Ten: Interior
|Spicy Pickled Cucumber
|Green Tea Mochi
Update 5-8-12: We have indeed been back here several times since our initial visit and continue to love it!