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Izakaya Den, Denver's Hangout of the Moment

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Izakaya Den

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Denverites are very receptive, especially to the enticing call of excellent dining. When a new restaurant opens the city gives it a fair chance to prove itself and, when it does, it’s secured many loyal guests for life. That was Izakaya Den a few years ago. Now, reinventing itself again, Izakaya Den joins its sister Sushi Den on the opposite side of Pearl Street with an interior that rivals the very best.

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There’s no surprise that it’s featured in this month’s 5280 Magazine. Izakaya Den is the hottest restaurant of the moment – and when you set foot in the door – you’ll live the hype yourself.

Dressed in oriental décor, with an organic amalgamation of wooden furnishings, lanterns and bamboo stems sprouting upward toward the rooftop deck, Izakaya Den presents itself well. It’s hard not to give it the thumbs up, even before the hospitable server arrives, let alone your food.

So what’s for dinner? A large variety of sushi specialties as well as the more common selections (only they're fresher than ever), Japanese appetizers, and a number of Udon and Ramen noodle dishes.

I recommend the mussel appetizer, which is served in a liquid coconut curry broth. Ask for extra slices of baguette – you’ll want to soak up every ounce of the sauce before you reluctantly hand over your empty bowl to your server.

The Firecracker Roll is also worth a mention. It is maki precision garnished with jalapenos. The perfect bite for the heat-lover like me.

When to go? Choose any beautiful summer evening. The rooftop patio just opened (July 23rd) and is quite spectacular. Izakaya Den is open for lunch on weekends as well. Take your pick, knowing that with an atmosphere and dining this good, you’ll be going more than once anyway.

For more information visit http://www.izakayaden.net/.

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