Day 3 – Nashville: Izakaya Dinner

Small plates makes it easy to order numerous things instead of a single entree. For that reason I decided on visiting a popular izakaya restaurant, Two Ten Jack. While I didn’t inquire I suspect that the restaurant was named after the Japanese card game.

The patio at Two Ten Jack
The patio at Two Ten Jack

Rookie mistake, I neglected to make reservations. The hostess didn’t appear to want to accommodate us and so we were pretty much relegated to the bar or to a dark communal table. My mom surprised me and selected the communal table.

Sitting so close to everyone, you can avoid hearing everyone’s conversations. There was a group of four that looked fresh out of college and they were focused on learning where to buy Japanese ingredients in Nashville. The couple to my left was extremely quiet and the lady next to me was intent on checking out everything I ordered.

Because we were so tightly seated, I didn’t want to cause a distracting my taking pictures and artificially lighting my dishes. It was so dark, that I could not make out the visual details of many of the items we ate that evening.

We were light on veggies this trip and so I selected the brussels sprouts and the “Two Ten Jack” salad. The brussels sprouts were similar to the crispy type that many LA restaurants serve except that they included strips of nori to give it some additional taste and texture. The Two Ten Jack salad was their version of a cobb salad.

Although ramen is probably the most popular item to order there, I decided to focus on their yakitori. Since they were priced individually, I ordered two each: kurobuta sausage, wagyu beef short ribs and shiitake mushrooms.

Wagyu beef is known for its intense marbling and so I was expecting something that was moist and tender. While the beef was cut into 3/4″ chunks, they were fairly dense, dry and more like filet mignon in nature. The kurobuta sausage had a nice casing, but that too, was extremely lean. Our favorite was the shiitake; it was cut into 1″ squares and served basted with a sweet & salty shoyu sauce.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

We walked to the end of “warehouse row” to find a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Both of our ice cream selections were delicious – I had the Whiskey Praline and my mom selected the Wildberry Lavender.

Wildberry Lavender (top) and Whiskey Praline (bottom)
Wildberry Lavender (top) and Whiskey Praline (bottom)

 

 

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