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Moving to Denver soon... Sushi?

liz.eats10 Jul 14, 2010 01:05 PM

My fiancé and I are moving to Denver in a few months and we were wondering if anyone knows of a really, really, really good sushi place. I grew up in Hawai'i and know a thing or two about sushi and Japanese food (well, really any Asian cuisine, I'm pretty picky). There is like this underground battle in San Antonio over whose favorite sushi place is the best and I've got mine. Sushi Zushi.

I don't care if it's a hole in the wall, I don't care if there are 2 or 3 of them in Colorado (some of my friends think that because Sushi Zushi has like 3 locations in Texas that they're a "chain" *eye rolling*), I don't care if it's expensive or cheap or whatever. I just want fresh fish, properly prepared sushi rice and a good selection of sakes and Japanese beer.

If there are any sushi aficionado's out there, or up there in Denver speak up!

Thanks!

  1. r
    Robatayaki Jul 30, 2010 11:07 PM

    My faves, but first my Japanese food credentials first. I grew up in japan, I go back 2 to 4 times a year and I eat tuna at a tuna only shop who's owner has dedicated 10 yrs of his life to tuna...

    Sushi hands down is best at sushi tora in boulder. If you ask, they will serve you fresh real wasabi instead of the nasty green reconstituted powder, which is a testament to authenticity.
    I was impressed by domo's wanko sushi, not bad for a mini bowl of rice with some fish thrown on top.

    Slightly off topic- amu in boulder is authentic izakaya food (translates to nar food in japan) and reasonably priced. Izakaya den on the other hand is terrible and way over priced and it's only merit is it's scene and miso cod. I won't go there ever again. Sushi den is not bad either

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robatayaki
      tatamagouche Jul 31, 2010 08:58 AM

      I do think the sushi's better at SD rather than ID, though they're owned by the same people, but *terrible*? What brought you to that conclusion? ID, by the way, also offers fresh real wasabi on certain dishes. And Den Deli across the street, also owned by them, sometimes sells whole wasabi root.

      1. re: Robatayaki
        b
        bubba42 Aug 6, 2010 09:42 PM

        Sushi Tora is the best in Boulder, but for $5-$6 per one piece, each piece should be excellent. Unfortunately our waiter had no clue - out of 10 different varieties ordered based on his recommendation, 4 or 5 were all right, the rest were bland and sometimes badly cut.

      2. h
        Heyteacher Jul 26, 2010 03:05 PM

        My two faves in the area are Banzai Sushi and Sushi Sasa - BS is very casual and low key while SS is more upscale.

        -----
        Sushi Sasa
        2401 15th Street, Suite 80, Denver, CO 80202

        Banzai Sushi
        6655 Leetsdale Dr, Denver, CO 80224

        1. b
          bubba42 Jul 26, 2010 01:44 PM

          Sushi Tora in Boulder is quite good, also I hear good things about Amu. In Denver, Sasa and Domo are my favorites. Tazu is also decent.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bubba42
            m
            monopod Jul 5, 2011 12:45 PM

            Amu is not a sushi restaurant, it's more like Domo and serves Japanese itzakaya food. When you walk in, the hostess will ask "You know we don't serve sushi, right?"

            -----
            Domo
            1365 Osage St, Denver, CO 80204

          2. Veggo Jul 15, 2010 05:28 PM

            Sushi Tazu @ 3rd & Fillmore in Cherry Creek North. Their family treats me like their own. Wonderful premium sakis also.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Veggo
              i
              ivandwu Jun 29, 2011 01:21 PM

              I'll second Tazu - I like it as an "everyday" sushi place for me and my wife. I say "everyday" because it's close to us and while I have enjoyed Sushi Sasa and Sushi Den, I just don't like the places with trendy/clubby atmosphere or too many non-traditional rolls. I guess I'm simple when it comes to my sushi, I really enjoy nigiri & sashimi from a place that pays attention to properly sliced & aged fish (technically, some "aging" is required depending on fish variety, etc. but I'm not expert at what and how long; I just know that it tastes better) and a place that pays at least some mind to the quality/texture of their rice. Domo's good in my book too, although I wouldn't call it a sushi restaurant - but it's good!

              Definitely want to try Banzai and try Tora again since it's been years since I last went there. Thanks for all the posts!

              -----
              Domo
              1365 Osage St, Denver, CO 80204

              Sushi Sasa
              2401 15th Street, Suite 80, Denver, CO 80202

              Sushi Den
              1487 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210

            2. f
              fuisu98 Jul 15, 2010 03:38 PM

              I love Sushi Den and Sushi Sasa. Hapa, is not good. I also like Banzai Sushi on Leetsdale. It's delicious and very affordable and not far from home.

              -----
              Sushi Sasa
              2401 15th Street, Suite 80, Denver, CO 80202

              Sushi Den
              1487 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210

              Banzai Sushi
              6655 Leetsdale Dr, Denver, CO 80224

              1. LurkerDan Jul 14, 2010 03:29 PM

                Sushi Den is considered by many to be the gold standard. I also hear Sushi Sasa's name mentioned frequently.

                -----
                Sushi Sasa
                2401 15th Street, Suite 80, Denver, CO 80202

                Sushi Den
                1487 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210

                15 Replies
                1. re: LurkerDan
                  c
                  chocolatte10 Jul 14, 2010 07:53 PM

                  I agree with Sushi Den and down from that is Izakaya Den where it is often easier to get a seat and belongs to the same owners. Sushi Sasa has very fresh fish but not as great on sauces. Denver has mediocre sushi restaurants all over the place, but in general seems to think sushi means rolls with crunchy things in them - tempura ad nauseum. Sorry to you who like that, but there is so much more... Mikuni at Park Meadows is easy to get to at Park Meadows and is good enough to satisfy but doesn't have that extra something as the Dens.

                  -----
                  Sushi Sasa
                  2401 15th Street, Suite 80, Denver, CO 80202

                  Sushi Den
                  1487 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210

                  Izakaya Den
                  1518 South Pearl Street, Denver, CO 80210

                  1. re: chocolatte10
                    tatamagouche Jul 15, 2010 07:03 AM

                    What he/she said, although I'm not sure what you mean by the sauces...When it comes to cooked fare I actually give the edge to Sasa (but since I live near Pearl Street I admit I find myself at Izakaya Den more).

                    Sasa's definitely the place to go for an omakase splurge (not even sure the Dens do omakase).

                    Also on the same corner as SD and ID is Den Deli, again same owners, interesting Asian-twisted Deli stuff plus a seafood mearket.

                    http://www.denveater.com

                    -----
                    Izakaya Den
                    1518 South Pearl Street, Denver, CO 80210

                  2. re: LurkerDan
                    m
                    mmmcqueen Jul 15, 2010 10:34 AM

                    I come from the CA Bay Area, so I, too, have high standards for sushi. The number one measure for me is freshness of the fish. The flavor of fresh fish can make up for a lot. On that measure, edge goes to Sushi Den and it gets my top rating.

                    Sushi Sasa is certainly second and I'd actually give them the edge when it comes to execution. Every plate is clean, simple and attractive.

                    While it's not a sushi place, my favorite for Japanese food is nationally recognized Domo. The have a small selection of sushi-esque items. But the main fair is traditional japanese country food. The real highlight is the series of appetizers and sides that is brought to every table.

                    For trendiness, I have to mention Hapa Sushi, a locally owned chain. The sushi if of lesser quality, but there are some creative items.

                    There are a lot of other generically "asian" places that advertise sushi, but their fish is of questionable age and origin. I stay away from the fish at any place that doesn't turn over table after table of fish eaters. Nothing more disappointing than stale or skunky sushi.

                    Don't get me wrong, I love hole in the wall sushi places. I practically lived in them in San Francisco for years. But I've found that if you live in a place where you can't see the ocean, there probably is not such thing as cheap and fresh fish. If a city is landlocked it will be well worth your while to pay extra for sushi.

                    -----
                    Domo
                    1365 Osage St, Denver, CO 80204

                    Sushi Sasa
                    2401 15th Street, Suite 80, Denver, CO 80202

                    Sushi Den
                    1487 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210

                    1. re: mmmcqueen
                      tatamagouche Jul 15, 2010 10:38 AM

                      Domo also, it should be noted, has a breathtaking setting. And yes, they do have good "Wanko Sushi," horrifying as the name is...

                      -----
                      Domo
                      1365 Osage St, Denver, CO 80204

                      1. re: tatamagouche
                        m
                        mmmcqueen Jul 15, 2010 11:03 AM

                        Can't believe I forgot to mention the decorations and garden. Those make it worth visiting alone.

                      2. re: mmmcqueen
                        LurkerDan Jul 15, 2010 12:53 PM

                        I cannot in good conscience let the recommendation of Hapa go uncommented. I have had bad experiences at Hapa, and also know of some very unethical things that they have done (allowed a fundraiser to be advertised eg "eat at Hapa and proceeds go to XXX" and then refused to donate the proceeds). There are far better choices than Hapa.

                        1. re: LurkerDan
                          tatamagouche Jul 15, 2010 01:04 PM

                          I just think the food is bad, though mmmcqueen her?self noted it's "lesser."

                          When I'm going for everyday journeyman sushi I hit Go Fish on S. Broadway. Quality is good to very good and the people are so, so nice.

                          -----
                          Go Fish
                          1 N Broadway St, Denver, CO 80202

                          1. re: tatamagouche
                            m
                            mmmcqueen Jul 15, 2010 01:54 PM

                            I'm a him, couldn't find a place in the profile for gender? I have no beef with LD's conerns about Hapa. As ttg pointed out it's not my favorite place, i just find that the volume is enough to keep their fish turning over. Plus, if the OP into highly stylized local chains (as is indicated in their current favorite) it may be a good fit for them.

                            Sidenote: is there are place to indicate gender? It would make it a lot easier to choose the right pronoun.

                            1. re: mmmcqueen
                              tatamagouche Jul 15, 2010 02:09 PM

                              No, but it's a losing battle anyway...for me it's kind of fun when people call me "he/him." Interesting research to be done on people's assumptions about gender based on what they say about food, I'm sure.

                              Back on topic, I figured that's what you meant. And they do get props for being one of the few places that does umeshiso maki—don't know why that's so hard to come by around here.

                              1. re: tatamagouche
                                LurkerDan Jul 15, 2010 05:05 PM

                                I think the assumptions about gender come in large part from the username. mmmcqueen has "queen" in it, the eye doesn't necessarily see it as "McQueen" which I am now guessing it is. So I for one see it as female because of that. Your name, on the other hand, well, not sure what assumptions can be made from that!

                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                  tatamagouche Jul 15, 2010 05:37 PM

                                  Yes, that's why I guessed she...And yes, I hope no one thinks I'm an oyster. Wait, what? I hope everyone thinks I'm an oyster.

                                  Anyway, this thread is making me realize how few places around here do omakase, or at least advertise it. Any others besides Sasa?

                                  1. re: tatamagouche
                                    Veggo Jul 15, 2010 05:50 PM

                                    Combining my ignorance of Canadian oysters and our common ground in Boston and Denver, I thought you were japanese for a long while. Good fun, tata.

                                    1. re: Veggo
                                      tatamagouche Jul 15, 2010 06:41 PM

                                      That's the first time this Oklahoman Jew has ever heard that one...Awesome.

                                      1. re: tatamagouche
                                        Veggo Jul 15, 2010 07:06 PM

                                        That's funny. And I'm a Danish protestant from Connecticut with a dozen jewish friends at Green Gables, and I travel with a Mexican passport!

                                    2. re: tatamagouche
                                      kscant Jun 24, 2011 02:55 PM

                                      lots of place will do 'omakase' if you make yourself known to the sushi chefs. sit at the sushi bar, strike up conv, but a round of sake, etc...
                                      i have not ordered sushi for a long time now, i walk in..sit down..get fed. love it
                                      my favorite places are Rice Bistro in DTC and Sushi Hapa in Highlands
                                      i do like Izakaya but it is for special occasions due to their $$$

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