As of this writing, Izakaya Ten, has closed its doors. The place where I discovered shochu and where I spent more nights than anywhere else over a 4 year span is no more. According to their website, "We would like to inform you that we are closing down our restaurant on Saturday, October 11th 2014. We want to thank you for sharing good times and tell you how much we have enjoyed serving you. Good Bye."
This story isn't going to be entirely true. “My first izakaya” was not my first izakaya. The trouble was the first time I went to an izakaya, in 2003, I didn't know I was in an izakaya. Several more years would pass before I realized what exactly this style of dining was – what it meant to me – and why it felt like something completely different.
Izakaya Ten may be the perfect combination of food, drink, and atmosphere in New York City. The izakaya vibe is as lively as anywhere.