With help from their sons, friends, and colleagues, lifelong restaurateurs Rob and Kelly Kukura opened 95a Bistro & Sushi in 2011, winning nearly instant acclaim from Boulder Magazine. The menu draws inspiration from Latin, Mediterranean, and Asian cuisines, showcasing hot and cold tapas such as bacon-wrapped dates and beef carpaccio along with entrees of brie-covered vegetable gnocchi and scottish salmon flavored with smoked-paprika brown butter. Their wide selection of sashimi and nigiri-style sushi includes the Firecracker specialty roll, whose fillings of citrus-aioli-topped crunchy tuna can be heard all the way down the street. The restaurant serves its brunches, lunches, and dinners both inside and on a seasonal outdoor patio overlooking a sprawling lawn.
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.
At Ooka Sushi, the chefs satisfy practically any Asian-cuisine craving, not just those for artfully prepared and presented sushi and sashimi. They also slow cook broccoli and bell peppers in a thick Thai peanut curry, marinate duck meat in Chinese fire spices and fry it to a golden crisp, and deep fry shrimp in tempura batter.
A "tuk tuk" (pronounced "took took") is a type of three-wheeled taxi service commonly found in Thailand. It's used by tourists as well as locals, who appreciate the speed and convenience. Westminster's Tuk Tuk Thai Bistro tries to capture the above qualities in a restaurant, and it largely succeeds. But there's a certain elegance to Tuk Tuk that you might not expect to find on the streets of Bangkok. The kitchen takes typical street foods and classes them up, resulting in a menu that seems both familiar and adventurous.
"ZEN," reads the letters attached to the dining room's wall. Calming green walls and the occasional potted tree serve as soothing design elements. Modern hanging lamps float above diners' heads, suspended from the matte-gray piping that lends the dining room a subtly industrial-chic look. It?s in this invigorating space that diners get excited about the memorable culinary quests they?re about to embark on. One end of the room is striped with a sushi bar, but patrons can also order rice-swaddled fillets at their tables. Those looking to snap up something different peruse a more general menu influenced by Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine.
Carved straight-backed chairs and hanging crimson lanterns cultivate a traditional Chinese vibe inside Golden Shanghai's spacious dining room. Nearby, a wall with strings of firecrackers and golden Buddha statues creates an exotic backdrop for family dinners or faked vacation photos. In keeping with the traditional décor theme, chefs plate MSG-free Chinese classics such as crispy duck and spicy Hunan beef as well as more adventurous specialties from a separate authentic-Chinese menu.
Elsewhere, however, the kitchen defies standard categories, bringing together the disparate cuisines of Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam for eclectic feasts. Tender morsels of Thai satay chicken share table space with Japanese sushi and udon, and chefs also stir up bowls of Vietnamese noodle soup. As they chomp their way through the tastes of the East, visitors can toast another year of not renewing their passport with glasses of tropical cocktails or frosty, thirst-quenching beers.