These pictures and visit are from Saturday, August 17th, 2019
Having lived in the Yay Area to El Lay for the last 24 years, I just can’t do the Japanese restaurants that are fakin’ the funk.
Colorado is a state with very little to no ethnically Japanese people when comparing it to Hawaii to California (*1), so you’re not going to find a whole lot of authentic Japanese food which is why I thank baby Jeebus for Tasuki.
Keeping it “real” will help you ditch your stretchy pants
Japan has one of the longest life expectancies in the world, along with being one of the fittest ones too, except the Americanized version of Japanese food is 70+ lbs heavier, wears stretchy pants everywhere, and comes with a drink in a Big Gulp size. Oh, but don’t worry, you’re good because it utilizes gluten-free soy sauce.
Murica likes sweet which is why the American version of teriyaki sauce is on the sweeter side of the Japanese version which consists mostly of soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar.
Other Americanized foods that are the equivalent of Taco Bell’s quesarito are the American sushi rolls which get slathered in mayo, drowned in sweet sauces and topped off with deep-fried tempura bits cuz Murica.
In contrast, in Japan, a few of the most common rolls are the pickled vegetable-heavy futomaki roll, kappa maki (cucumber), tekka maki (tuna), and negihama (yellowtail and green onion) roll. Yea and none of them are topped off with sweet sauces, and they are literally just sushi rice, nori, veggies, cucumber, fish, and the latter with green onion.
Do not be afraid of the menu because the staff is more than willing to walk you through it.
If you might be hesitant to try it because you are not too sure how much different it will be, don’t worry because the vast majority of the ingredients utilized will be ingredients you are already familiar with.
Examples of what is on the menu are kinpira (sauteed burdock, carrot, and lotus root), ohitashi (boiled spinach wrapped with napa cabbage), to kani (crab) cream croquettes which is one of my favorite Japanese dishes because “mmmh, crispy and crunchy.” In general, the focus is on the natural flavors of the ingredients which are all prepared either simmered, raw, grilled, to deep-fried.
If you are not sure what something is, feel free to ask your waitress/waiter any questions you might have because hospitality is ingrained in Japanese culture where it is called omotenashi.
If you are the salmon type, you might want to try hikarimono or the “fishy stuff” which is saba (mackerel), aji (horse mackerel), sanma (pacific saury), iwashi (sardine) to name a few that are favored by a lot of Japanese because they are high in omega-3’s, and healthy fatty acids.
As for Tasuki itself, this was my first visit ever, and I don’t know if Saturday night a little after eight o’clock is considered an off-day or time, but it was surprisingly not that busy.
I don’t care if it was busy or not, but since there were only a few four tops, I felt as though the sushi bar preparation was on the sloppy and hurried end of the spectrum, although the kitchen food more than made up for it.
I enjoyed chatting it up with the sushi chef/dude here because he was once a bartender at the notorious Park Hyatt Tokyo. A hotel made famous by the movie Lost in Translation.
The “hipster” places in Denver that I had tried yakitori at have no clue what it is, and their attempt was to do a teriyaki chicken skewer which was beyond bad. That place is no longer around, and if you are in Denver, the only place to get even close to real yakitori is Tokio in downtown Denver.
The condiments, the first one says wasabi, the second is nanami (7-spice which is barely even spicy) togarashi, and the third is shoyu (soy sauce).
I already know what I’m going to order next time around.
My first visit, I came here for an extended birthday celebration. Except instead of focusing on the food, I drank quite a bit which is why this is what I plan on ordering the second time around:
|Kinpira, Sauteed Burdock, Carrot & Lotus Root||4.25|
|Hijiki, Braised Black Seaweed||4.25|
|Mozuku, Vinegar Marinated Seaweed.||3.95|
|Takowasa, Octopus in Wasabi Sauce||4.75|
|Sanma Shioyaki, Lightly Salted Whole Pike Mackerel||6.75|
|Kani (Crab) Cream Croquette||7.25|
|Buta Kushi Katsu, Panko Fried Skewered Pork||7.75|
|Ebi Renkon, Minced Shrimp w/ Lotus Root||7.75|
|Yamaimo Butter, Sauteed Mountain Yam||5.75|
|Any and all yakitori, Grilled Chicken to Various Meats||?|
|Of course some sashimi||9.25-29.75|
I think this was the chicken nanban which is marinated fried chicken w/tartar sauce, $8.75. Except I don’t see the tartar sauce tho.
If I only lived closer, I would be here all the time
Unfortunately, being in Colorado I very rarely go out to eat Japanese food, although now that I have Tasuki as an option, a mere 38-45 minute drive to Boulder is well worth the trip. Besides, I have spent more time driving to pick up Popeye’s chicken in Santa Ana because there was only a lame-ass KFC in Newport Beach (only 2 blocks from where I lived).
Sushi Izakaya TASUKI
I thought I would throw in this extra bit of how I got to Boulder when neither one of us wanted to be a designated driver.
I never took public transportation in LA, but the public transportation in Colorado is just too nice not to take. Plus, there’s nearly not as many people who are trying to shank you.
Union Station in downtown Denver is clean, but I have no clue what the facilities look like in LA because I’ve never used it. I have only used BART and Muni in the Bay Area which aren’t all that bad.
It is eff’n cheap, and you are looking at only $2-5 per trip from Denver Union Station to Boulder via the Flatiron Flyer which has buses every 15 minutes during peak hours, and 30 minutes typically.
Comfortable seating and the only place better to take a bus that I have been to is South Korea which is one of my favorite ways to get around Korea.
Next, I would do a weekend getaway and stay overnight in Boulder versus trying to make it back before the last bus back to Union Station (I think the last bus was at around 11:30 pm).
(*1) – The top 5 large cities with a Japanese American population are: 1. Hawaii (23.3%), 2. Sacramento (1.6%), 3. Seattle (1.6%), 4. San Francisco (1.5%), 5. San Jose (1.5%), 6. Los Angeles (1.0%) – Wikipedia.