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Midtown South / Chelsea >
Posted by Chelsea Lawyer Guy on 11/23/2006
Although Izakaya Ten is still new, I can't say enough good things about it. For the price, this is the best Japanese I have had in a long time. While my friend says it's the best spicy tuna roll he's had in NYC (disclaimer: he's never been to, e.g., Masa), I like Ten most for the non-sushi dishes you can't get in most other Japanese restaurants. The restaurant isn't centered around sushi, but around "izakaya" food, which is Japanese home-style small plates meant to be consumed with sake and shochu (of which there is a nice selection as well). An ideal meal contains with tsukemono (an assortment of crunchy and super-fresh lightly picked vegetables), succulent ginger pork belly served in-skillet, to-die-for wasabi shumai that taste like no shumai i've ever had, a deliciously smoky and velvety spicy tuna roll, an interesting dish of lightly fried, just-fishy-enough mackerel in a light sauce, an assortment of mushrooms cooked in a light buttery anchovy broth, an impossibly light portion of kara age (Japanese "fried chicken"), and of course several servings of sake, served in a glass that overflows into a traditional masu (wooden box used for serving single portions of sake). Since this is an izakaya, the sake and shochu ("Japanese vodka") are the backbone of the meal. And Izakaya Ten doesn't disappoint. The sake selection is a bit on the narrow side at present, but well-chosen, and the various choices are graphed for you on a coordinate plane indicating the light/full-bodied and sweet/dry dimensions, so you can choose the ideal masu for you. (You can also order by the bottle.) The service is eager and the price, while not cheap, is totally worth it. And the decor inside has gotten raves from everyone I've brought there with me -- a narrow, cute room with a row of cozy, intimate mini-booths, counter-balanced by the unfinished industrial ceilings and metallic wall hangings. It's homey yet urban/trendy at the same time.
Posted by Anonymous on 11/22/2006
This is a great place to hang out, have great sake, and eat a variety of unique Japanese dishes "tappas" style. Not the type of dinner to get super full.