Ditch the menu: The Front Range’s can’t-miss omakase and chef’s-choice restaurant experiences

Ditch the menu: The Front Range’s can’t-miss omakase and chef’s-choice restaurant experiences
Snapseed (14)Full size Bamboo Sushi Spring Menu 2018 - Rachel Adams-24IMG_6509IMG_6640Full size Bamboo Sushi Spring Menu 2018 - Rachel Adams-4IMG_6510Crudo Frasca Mike ThurkIMG_6508
<
>
Wagyu beef topped with uni topped with caviar topped with truffles off Bamboo Sushi’s omakase menu. (Allyson Reedy, The Know)

I’m about to tell you some “Matrix”-level stuff here that will forever change and enhance your experience eating out. What if you took the menu out of the dining equation? What if instead of ordering from a set group of dinner options, you let the chef pick every single thing you ate?

Omakase is the Japanese phrase for “I’ll leave it up to you,” and while many sushi restaurants have an omakase option, why limit a chef’s creativity by cuisine? These “dealer’s choice”-style menus — perhaps better known as tasting menus at non-Japanese restaurants — can be a great splurge, or a great value.

Here are some spots where you leave the ordering behind and dive, taste bud-first, into a whole new food world. Take the red pill, and see how deep the culinary rabbit hole goes.

You probably think you know sushi, but Sushi Ronin and its executive chef Corey Baker will make you think otherwise. Ronin has a normal menu, but where Baker really shines is with the omakase, which takes you so much further than standard rolls and sashimi. Prices vary by night, and it’s not cheap, but if you have a healthy tax refund coming your way, what better way to spend it than on an adventure? 2930 Umatilla St., Denver, 303-955-8741; sushironindenver.com

You never know what you’re going to get off Bamboo Sushi’s omakase (Rachel Adams, provided by Bamboo Sushi)

Bamboo Sushi’s omakase menu is one of the best deals in town. From as low as $60 to as high as Amazon-expense-account-level territory, the sushi chefs at Bamboo will craft a dining experience for you that’s both innovative and sustainable. (It calls itself “the world’s first certified sustainable-sushi restaurant.”) The dishes they’re creating — like wagyu beef topped with uni topped with caviar topped with truffles — are mind-blowing. 2715 17th St., Denver, 303-284-6600; bamboosushi.com