TEN: a new (Korean-style) JAPANESE restaurant in the Sunset
I have had two yummy meals at Ten so far, a new Japanese restaurant in the Sunset. I can't seem to find any other information about it online, and I don't know the exact address. However, it's on Irving, between 6th and 7th (across the street from Hahn's Hibachi). You can't miss the red sign and hipster vibe in this less-than-hipster 'hood.
Along with the typical sushi and udon menu items, I also found Korean-inspired dishes, so I knew the place had to be Korean owned. Every once in a while, I'll come across a Korean-Chinese place or a Korean-Japanese place. If you see something like "ja jang myun" (black bean noodles) or "jam pong" (spicy seafood noodle soup) on the menu, you've probably found one of these Koreanish restaurants too.
At Ten - and by the way, my Chinese friend said the Chinese character actually said "Tien" - I noticed both "jam pong" and "hwe dub bap," which is what I ordered. Hwe dub bap is similar to chirashi. Add a salad of greens, and mix in some red pepper paste/sauce, and you've got yourself some hwe dup bap!
There was "deluxe chirashi," which was different from the regular chirashi. It's supposed to have more interesting fish, but my friend realized that she could order one of her fave dishes from her days of living in L.A. She used to get different types of tobiko and other eggs over sushi rice, and she could never seem to find it outside of Koreatown in Los Angeles. Well, that's no longer the case - she had "al bap" at Ten; and this won't be her last order of that for sure. If you like Ikura and tobiko, you'll like al bap too.
If you appreciate beer or sake with your Japanese meal, try the soju at Ten. Soju is a Korean rice wine, and Ten offers different flavors. Both the strawberry and peach were yummy!
The rolls were also good; I'm already craving more Ten!
I wholly agree with the negative comments. The first time we went the food was decent and the service slow but pleasant. The last time we went the menu was scaled back, the food horrible and the service even worse. We ordered a spicy tuna tempura roll, and it arrived completely cooked through. The tuna inside was almost white. We complained and the waitress, in her most condescending tone, explained that tempura rolls are cooked, and that we were making an unreasonable complaint. My fiancee had to gently keep me from flipping the table over. One of the other rolls we ordered hadn't shown up 45 minutes after we ordered it, but at that point we were ready to just leave.
"I don't mind when a sushi place is run by non-Japanese people. Some of the great takes on sushi are done by Korean and Chinese chefs. That said, this place really got me angry. Some other reviews have mentioned poor, inattentive service, and my experience was that they were rude and unresponsive. Some have mentioned high prices and mediocre food, and I concur. But the thing that got me angry was an item described as "okonomiyaki" on the appetizer menu. It was $12, which is a bit expensive, but you don't see it on many menus and I love it, so I ordered it. What I got was an undercooked and unseasoned order of boo chim gae, which while also pancake-like, is really a different dish. Now I like boo chim gae as much as the next fella, and I think if they had actually cooked it correctly it might have been just ok, but why not just call it what it is? Another review mentioned that "Ten is a brand new Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant," but nowhere on the menu does this aspiration to fuse the cuisines get made clear. And I'd love a great Japanese-Korean fusion place, BUT THIS IS NOT ONE. AVOID AT ALL COSTS."
Good to know - great discription of the "Korean-Japanese" and "Korean-Chinese" restaruant, by the way. I often find myself explaining the same thing to my friends.
Since we're sharing, there is also a place in San Carlos called, Aya Sushi. It is another Korean-owned Japanese restaurant. I used to avoid these places like the plague(question of authenticity), but I have been pleasantly surprised in recent years to not dismiss them altogether. This place is pretty good.
Their version of the "hwe-dut-bap" is called, the "Ultimate Salad". Now, I know that sounds questionable, but I crave it every month. The bowl is served with chunks of raw fish(assorted) on a bed of lettuce/rice, topped with sliced daikon and a spoonful of tobiko. Top it off with the Korean chili paste, mix it with a spoon, and you're good for some good eats. They offer small or large and I would order a large to share with another person so that I can try different dishes.
In terms of sushi/sashimi, their cut of fish is generous. But it is also a bit on the pricier side - but not outragious by any means.
In the same vein again, in Oakland try Drunken Fish on Broadway close to MacArthur along the Broadway Auto Mall. It's a small place that is Korean owned with hwe dub bap as well although it is called sashimi salad. If you do get it, go during lunch as it is about half the price than dinner although it is about the same.
When I ordered it 3 tables around me asked what I had gotten and ordered the same dish.