I am always up for a kitchy dinner. I mean, come on, the Japanese cook-in-front of you places are always kitchy! So, we went to Shogun in Cool Springs, in the county just south of Nashville. To clarify, most towns with names describing a natural feature, like Oaks, Springs, Mount, often describes what the European settlers found, like a large stand of oaks, springs, or mountains. Cool Springs is no different, and the first settlers found springs that kept them cool during the hot summer weather that the south USA gets. Today, Cool Springs is a far cry from the cooling waters of deep aquifer springs, rather today it is Middle Tennessee's most uncontrolled developed mall and sprawl area.
In most mall and sprawls, there is always an obligatory Japanese cook-in-front-of-you place. These Japanese restaurants are the original dinner theater in cooking. I don't expect a lot from these places, but I do expect a lot of fun and enjoyment from the entertaining cook. For what ever it is worth, I actually like Shogun in this mall and sprawl of Cool Springs because of the freshly cooked food, the show, the people and the reasonable cost.
This time, I got scallops for my entree, and it cost less than $20 for a 6 item dinner. What comes with the scallops is a little iceburg salad with ginger dressing (it is ok), a funky weak onion soup that seems like Lipton Onion Soup mixed with 10 times the recommended amount of water (I don't ever eat this), fried rice, mixed fresh veggies, and pink sherbet. Yeah, this all is a throwback to the early 1980's when Japanese Grill restaurants were just gaining popularity, and Shoguns seems to deliver a meal that is better than it needs to be. My scallops were cooked the way I like them, over high heat to char the outside quickly, and just cooked through for tenderness. It is so easy to ruin scallops and Shogun has never done that to me. I love the fried rice they make, and I like the fresh veggies they use to make the side dish.
I also like that we have to share a table with strangers. There is nothing like breaking bread (or should I say serving rice) with a new friend at the other end of the table. Sharing a Shogun table does take me back to the idea of community and makes me feel good about meeting people that I would have not met elsewhere. So, when I want kitchy, a nice hot and fresh meal, and feeling social, I am going to find my way to Shogun.
Labels: Nashville Eats