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.
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.
• For $10, you get $20 worth of Asian cuisine during lunch from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. • For $20, you get $40 worth of Asian cuisine during dinner from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. Diners who redeem their Groupon Thursday, Friday, or Saturday after 8:30 p.m. receive complimentary edamame and sake.
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.
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.