Upscale Japanese Cuisine | Celebrity Sushi Chef | Omakase Tasting Menu | Lounge Space
Where to Sit: If you decide to go on a whim, try the Matsuhisa Lounge, a laid-back space with flat-screen TVs, Japanese-influenced cocktails, a truncated menu, and a mix of tourists and locals who have managed to stake out a space without reservations. However, it may be worth it to schedule ahead for a visit to the downstairs dining room, where you’ll find a decidedly well-heeled crowd enjoying the full menu in all its gourmet glory. Better yet, get a taste of both spots.
When to Go: Matsuhisa is only open for dinner, and reservations are a must for the main dining room.
While You're Waiting: Make a bingo card featuring the restaurants owned by (and named after) celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa. They’re spread across the globe, so your next stop might be Honolulu, Athens, Moscow, or Beijing.
Inside Tip: Feeling overwhelmed by your options? Try the pricy (but worth it) omakase, the chef-curated tasting menu.
Tiradito: a Peruvian raw-fish dish—similar to sashimi—that distinguishes itself from ceviche with its unique cut and lack of onions.
New-style sashimi: a Nobu Matsuhisa original, this dish puts a twist on the raw-fish classic with a coating of hot oil that leaves it lightly cooked.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Pop into the historical Victorian home that houses Explore Booksellers (221 E. Main Street), a charming spot for books and gifts.
After: See what big-name or up-and-coming band is playing at the Belly Up (450 S. Galena Street).
The name means "taste" in Thai, and at Ghin Asian Blend & Sushi, flavor always comes first. Averse to calling their dishes "Asian fusion," the restaurant's chefs instead refer their genre as "Asian blend." They aim to bring the nuances of many cultures' kitchens seamlessly together on the same plates, creating meals that are as artful as they are satisfying. The tom yum soup, for instance, showcases a Thai- and Malaysian-style broth made from chili and fresh lime, whereas a spicy, Japanese tamari marinade brings the heat to the tropical-inspired tuna poke appetizer. Maki rolls display similar melding, matching spicy tuna with macadamia nuts and beef tataki with jalapeno. Even classic American dishes receive a global update?burgers are topped with sweet chili aioli, lamb chops are sauced with a ginger sake tamari reduction, and cuts of chicken are given their own delicious passports.
Sushi is a complex world of flavors, textures, and colors that may seem intimidating at first. Wasabi Sushi Bar?s spread of more than 90 rolls includes simple california and bluefin rolls for the sushi newbie as well as adventurous items for those delving deeper into the realm of maki.
Yellowfin tuna and cucumber slices fill the more simplistic rolls, and shrimp tempura and avocado cut the delicate brine flavor of barbecued eel in other offerings. The sushi chefs also liberally sprinkle a housemade tempura crunch topping at the sushi bar, and new york strip steaks crackle beneath spicy teriyaki sauces at the grill.
Nearing the three-decade mark since opening its first store, Kokoro cooks up quick and tasty Japanese meals using fresh, never-processed ingredients, including Colorado-grown co-op vegetables whenever possible. Many of those meals feature a secret teriyaki sauce, such as the Kokoro Bowl—a fusion of juicy beef, teriyaki chicken, and veggies—which reigns as the restaurant's most popular bowl. Kokoro—whose loose translation is “heart” and points to the staff’s passion—also provides a drive-thru option, extending the same courteous, full-service experience even for the demanding task of accommodating the governor’s motorcade.
As its name suggests, Zo Sushi and Thai specializes in both Japanese and Thai cuisine. With 30 specialty rolls on the menu, however, sushi truly earns its top billing. Chefs prepare all manner of unique and delicious options, from Zo's black and white roll with eel, cream cheese, and wasabi cream sauce to baked pizza rolls featuring a medley of crab, cucumber, and masago. They don't forget about vegetarians, either?they've put together a separate sushi selection that includes a veggie tempura option chockfull of cucumber, avocado, and asparagus tempura. The focus on sushi doesn't mean Thai cuisine gets short shrift at Zo, though. Cooks toss chicken, beef, tofu, or shrimp into myriad Thai classics, from mild yellow curry to stir-fries of broccoli and oyster sauce.
Kira Sushi chefs bring years of experience to crafting specialty maki and handrolls, and insist on using only the freshest ingredients to complete each roll. The menu encompasses more than 30 types of sushis and more than 60 types of rolls. Lobster salad and spicy tuna pair with seaweed salad and crab meat to make the Disney, one of the restaurant's trademark specialty rolls. Fresh sashimi, teriyaki, and noodle dishes complete the eatery's offerings of tasty Japanese dishes.