What are everyone's current favorite Nashville dives? You know, the places where the atmosphere, the quirkiness, the funk and the food all combine to make something just right?
Here's what made me think of it: had dinner at Koto on the corner of 7th and Commerce last Saturday and completely enjoyed it. 5 gallon bucket propping the front door open, a non-categorizable mix of patrons in the front and the back. I had a nice bowl of wakame salad, and some cold soba yamakake (topped with grated mountain potato and fresh wedges of tuna) which I embellished with liberal amounts of kim chee, and washed down with cold sake. It was a happy-making experience.
Is it the best Japanese I ever had? Nope. (There is a place in Chicago, Katsu's on Peterson, where the sushi is so fresh there's a flavor like drinking fresh spring water when you eat it - phenomenal. The testure is a sensual experience in its own right. The chef won't open the restaurant that night if he failed to find fish fresh enough to meet his standards that morning. But I digress...)
But best or not, I'll be glad to go back to Koto the next time because the the waitstaff is friendly without making a fuss, the food is good workman Korean/Japanese fare, and the overall experience is as comfortable as broken-in boots.
Other Nashville dive recs, anyone?