Sophisticated, trendy and downright delicious, that’s how we’d describe Ten Sushi + Cocktail Bar in Newport Beach. Located minutes from John Wayne Airport, Ten has the kind of ambience that transports you to somewhere else entirely. Dim and shifting colored lights and upbeat music are the perfect backdrop for the fresh, unique dishes and craft cocktails customers love.
Whether you’re dining with colleagues, friends or a date, Ten fits the bill. After you walk across a bridge into the restaurant, you have your choice of seating in the large outdoor spaces, vast dining room or long, inviting bar. Plus, at the far end of the restaurant, there is a sushi bar where you can watch sushi chefs delicately prepare an extensive list of sushi offerings.
Ten is known for its craft cocktails and extensive Japanese whiskey list. We were lucky enough to try the special smoked Old Fashioned they’ve been working on, and it didn’t disappoint. The presentation reminds us of the enchanted rose in “Beauty and the Beast.” Sitting on a wooden pedestal covered with a smoke-filled cloche, our server lifted the glass to reveal the cocktail. Ten’s smoked Old Fashioned is made with Japanese whiskey, which has the familiar taste of whiskey and a hint of scotch flavor.
If whiskey isn’t your thing, two notable vodka-based cocktails include the Lychee Rose and the Rising Sun. If you’re with a group, Ten’s Bamboo Punch is a great mix of rum and tropical flavors served up in a large bowl.
Along with your cocktail, you’re going to want to order a couple of Ten’s alluring appetizers. The tempura green beans are perfectly crispy and served with a sriracha mayo. A vegetable is a vegetable, even if it’s fried! The Japanese nachos are an inventive twist on the Mexican favorite. Spicy tuna, guacamole and garlic aioli sitting atop a wonton crisp make for the perfect bite.
Ten has an entire section devoted to sushi offerings. If you want sushi, sashimi or a specialty roll, they have it all. The Spicy Domo roll is crunchy with a kick and the Lion King roll, which is a spicy tuna roll topped with rock shrimp, would surely make Simba proud. Additionally, you absolutely must order at least one of Ten’s black rice rolls. The Forbidden roll was just as beautiful as it was tasty.
For those who might not be as keen on sushi, Ten has a large variety of entrees including General Ten’s chicken and the shaken beef filet. The pad Thai is a dependable classic as well.
At the end of your meal, dessert is a must. The chocolate soufflé is a similar to a lava cake: rich, gooey and enchanting. We enjoyed every single bite. The bread pudding is also a customer favorite.
In early 2022, Ten will relocate to a new space at 18191 Von Karman Avenue in Irvine. You can get a sneak peek at the new look of the restaurant, featuring indoor cherry blossom trees and vibrant pink lighting, on Ten’s Instagram.
For more information about Ten Sushi + Cocktail Bar, visit www.tenbistrooc.com.
Featured photo credit: @WalesCommunications