S and I had date night a few weeks ago, and I wanted to try one of the newly-opened restaurants in San Diego – out of Ironside Fish & Oyster, Juniper & Ivy, and Table No. 10, only Table No. 10 had reservations available on a Friday night (at a reasonable dinner time). We were quite excited, since we had read so many positive reviews about the place!
The restaurant had a very modern feel to it. Downstairs is the kitchen, and a “Chef’s Table” – basically a counter looking into the kitchen, where you can eat and watch the chefs work.
I wish we had known about the Chef’s Table before making reservations, but the seats there were already taken so we went upstairs to the dining room. I really liked the decor there – unfortunately, it was too dark to take too many photos.
We started off the evening with a cocktail. I had a really hard time deciding between the “I’m Messin’ with Texas”, and the “Flux Capacitor” – which is served in a bubbling Erlenmeyer flask. In the end, my curiosity about the brisket-fat-infused whiskey won out, so we went with the Texas-themed drink.S and I both enjoyed this; the brisket fat added extra smokiness to the already-smoky whiskey. I don’t see this drink on their online menu anymore, but hopefully it’ll still be available by request.
For the food selection, we had heard that the “Bites” and “Small Plates” were the best, so we ordered several items.The deviled eggs vary by day, and that day was with thyme, yogurt, radish, and chives – sounded pretty good to us! I haven’t had deviled eggs in a long, long time… several years, probably. I liked the refreshing flavor of the chives and yogurt but felt that the radish flavor was a little muted. Still really good, though – I’m inspired now to make deviled eggs again. Our waiter recommended the octopus, which is grilled on a wood plank. S commented that it tasted like Taiwanese street food… haha. The smokiness of the grilled octopus paired quite nicely with the Portuguese sausage, but the most impressive part of this dish was the potato. It had a perfectly crispy exterior, yet was soft on the inside (sort of like mashed or puréed potato) and basically melted in your mouth. I wished that there were more than two pieces of it!
This was one of the dishes that I was really anticipating, since it combined two of my favorite things – scallops and pork belly. I loved it – both the scallops and pork belly were cooked perfectly, and the pork belly had an Asian braise flavor to it. The sunchoke and coconut cream gave the dish some smoothness to round out the flavor.Although we had originally only planned to order from the small plates section of the menu, we couldn’t resist trying the Kobe beef brisket. This ended up being the disappointment of the night, since the brisket was actually sort of dry and lacked the smokiness that I was expecting from BBQ (surprising, since a lot of their other dishes were quite smoky). The other components were decent – especially the house-made bread – but this wasn’t as good as the other dishes we ordered that night. We were still hungry after all those dishes (the portions are, as you can probably tell, not that big), so after much deliberation, we decided to add on the mushroom & grits. I had read mixed reviews about the dish, but having lived in the South for many many years, I guess I couldn’t pass up the grits. Well, this turned out to be my favorite dish of the night. The grits were super creamy and had a very distinct and sweet corn flavor to it, which paired perfectly with the savory mushrooms and parmesan foam. I think adding parmesan in foam form was a great idea, because otherwise the cheese might have overpowered the sweetness of the grits. I was so impressed with the flavor of the grits that I ended up asking the waiter if the corn meal was ground in-house, and turns out I was right – no wonder it had such a strong “corn” flavor! I was so glad that we had this dish at the peak of corn season, too. This dish was, to me, a really nice elevated version of my favorite Southern comfort food. Finally, capping off the meal with dessert! I had a hard time deciding between the Chocolate Sesame Ganache and this, but in the end, the panna cotta won. I might have mentioned this before, but S and I don’t really like too many fruits in our desserts – I just like them sweet, no need for tartness thank you very much. So, we mostly ate around the berries, haha. The panna cotta was nice and creamy, but we didn’t feel like all the flavors in the dessert blended together very well. For example, the pistachio didn’t pair particularly well with either the berries or the panna cotta or the tuile cookie… We ended up eating most of the dessert’s components separately.
Overall, S and I had a great meal here. Even though there were a couple of dishes that didn’t impress, most of the things we had were really delicious – especially the scallops & pork belly dish, and the mushroom & grits. This place is “special occasion”-priced, so it won’t be a “regular” for us, but I definitely plan to be back for another celebration or occasion!
Table No. 10
369 10th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Hours: Tue-Thu 4-12PM, Fri-Sat 4PM-1:30AM, Sun 4-11PM