For being land locked, I think the Denver/Boulder sushi game is strong. Really, they have their fish shipped fresh the same that any city might, and with an attractive lineup of chefs locally, the combination makes for rival sushi in these Mountains.
When I heard of Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Denver off 16th Street Mall, I wasn’t sure what to expect. There are so many well known sushi restaurants in Denver, I hadn’t ventured here, and often steer from the tourist trap of 16th Street. What unfolded before me when trying, was an inventive, eclectic, bright, and surprising evening that makes me want to keep sending people their way.
Blue Sushi Sake Grill started in 2002 in Omaha, Nebraska by the Flagship Restaurant Group. To-date, they have eight locations open, with two more opening in 2016. There are two in Colorado (the other in Denver is Centennial), two in Texas, and four in Nebraska.
Here’s what popped out to me, that I really liked:
- Aesthetically it’s vibrant and bright. Exposed brick walls, wooden beams, coupled with bright blue and slate grey walls dotted with sharp pop-art.
- Dishes are served at the center of the table in traditional Japanese style, meant for sharing.
- They get a little exotic with their rolls like the Cherry Bomb with tuna, serrano, rice tempura spicy sauce, and ponzu or the Blue Balls tempura fried, spicy crab and inari.
- On that note, the fish is as fresh as any top sushi restaurant I’ve visited anywhere.
- Their happy hour is everyday and the discounted prices are legit for drinks and sushi at this time.
- The drink menu is inventive and they have quite the cocktail sampling!
- There’s a certain care to the presentation of their food, which creates that “Aww” quality.
Blue Sushi Shared Plates:
The Tuna Tower with sesame-marinated tuna, spicy crab, avocado, sushi rice, black tobiko, shishito peppers with garlic, soy, lime, butter, and shichimi and the ceviche with white fish, rock shrimp, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, sweet onion jalapeño salsa, wonton crisps, and chili oil.
My favorite was the top left: Roja tuna roll with yellowtail, avocado, cucumber, cilantro, soy paper, and sriracha and the bottom left, their Cherry Bomb roll with tuna, serrano, rice tempura, sriracha and ponzu. Delicious!
In addition to their sushi and shared plates, they have some great entree’s if you aren’t wanting to go the raw route. Like their crispy coconut chicken (love the coconut that comes out with it) or the shishito pepper filet with a plum glaze, asparagus, and wasabi potato gratin with crispy leeks, or their cirtus salmon with a sambal yuzu marinade, coconut-crusted shitake mushroom sticky rice cake, fresno and shishito pepper cream and stir-fried baby greens.
Sounds pretty delicious, right? If you’re in downtown Denver, I encourage you to venture there for their happy hour or try one of their fun sushi rolls.
Find them: bluesushisakegrill.com