Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yakitori For You

Independent Restaurant Review:

9/13/08 - Sushi Tazu, Denver, CO
(303) 320-1672

You read that post about Yakitori Shio-Yaki, right? If you haven't had it made for you before, check out Sushi Tazu in Cherry Creek. They do it just right and it's a real treat. Model your own creation off this one.

Taking a Saturday "vespa" tour of Denver on the way to see some dear ole friends, I found myself near Cherry Creek with a bellyfull of hunger. Dreaming lately of chawanmushi, and reminiscing my times in the area, it had to be Sushi Tazu. Plus sake is always nice.

Let's just say I worked there as a waiter years ago, for about 2 months. I hope they have forgotten it. At the time, I was not their best asset. But I was certainly a fan, even then. The food is classic Japanese and the people are classy (some Japanese). The taste of their hot house sake, probably the same brand (Gekkeikan?) as every other Asian restaurant in the Denver area, somehow tastes unique ... like something one might find in a feudal era sake inn. Japanromantic.

It was happy hour and sake was 2 for 1. Flying solo, I ordered two small flasks of the house hot selection, a chawanmushi, and a yakitori shio-yaki. This is unquestionably my favorite ninja snack.

Read TWS blog archives for more on yakitori shio-yaki. The best parts about Tazu's presentation: a classy wooden foodservice set with toothpicks, lemon, and shichimi. Love the shichimi. Green onions fat and fresh. Tender chicken. Tops. No place else does this dish so well.

Chawanmushi is a savory mushroom/fish custard served in a lidded crock. The flavor is intense, woody from the (shiitake?) shrooms and salty from the fish, softened and eased into the palate via creamy egg custard. Oh. My. Domo arigato gozaimashita.

The service was impeccably polite and thoroughly Japanese. Several attractive customers sat at tables on the patio around me on this sunny afternoon, and the staff was jovial yet professional. The meal, with appropriate tip, cost under $20.

I'll hit that place again for another review, and also to grab my ninja snack, ninja style so they only remember me as the smiley and genuinely nice guy whom I have grown to be. Excellent service, and a must-visit for anyone seeking classical Japanese food you won't find on the menu anywhere else.


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