Want to have authentic Japanese food at a Japanese restaurant operated/managed by Japanese people in Boulder? No problem! There is a restaurant called Tasuki, very unassuming but surprisingly awesome! (Tasuki is a sash used to tuck up the sleeves of a kimono, by the way). It is inside the small mall, on the second floor next to “Taste of Philly.” They seems to make everything homemade, therefore it might take a bit longer for food to come out, but when it does, you get a quality food. So, you need to choose between fast but low quality food, or slow but high quality food. Me, I always take the quality! Well, most of the time.
Inside is not huge, but has enough space, and enough seating areas. They also have counter seats by the sushi counter. There were bamboo dividers hanging from the ceiling to create a sense of separation and privacy. It does not provide any actual privacy, as you can see through the bamboo dividers, and voices carry throughout the restaurant, so it can get a bit loud when it gets crowded.
We were group of 6, so we ordered some appetizers to share. Ebi & Yasai Tempura ($11.75) which is shrimp and vegetable tempura, Yamaimo Tanzaku ($4.75) which is Julienned mountain yam, and Edamame ($3.95). The tempura was very crisp on the outside, lightly fried so that they are not greasy or soggy, inside had nice firm texture, fresh and tasty. The Japanese mountain yam has that certain texture, it is slimy like okra, it might not be for everyone, but for those who love it, this dish was divine! It was fresh, simple, slimy goodness. Add just a little wasabi and soy sauce on it, and it is perfect. Edamame was boiled nicely, had little salt dusted on it so that it gives extra flavor, it is always a good appetizer for Japanese cuisine!
We also ordered Tako-su Misoae ($5.95) which is octopus with miso dressing. It came in a clear place, with octopus on the bottom, with some veggies and topped with dried seaweed. You can see the octopus from the side. It was again fresh, nice flavor from the miso, and refreshing. It is small though, not really made for sharing.
And, we added some very traditional side dishes, Hijiki (3.95) which is braised black seaweed, and Kinpira ($3.95) which is sauteed burdock. These are both something that I grew up with in Japan. Of course, being a little child, a.k.a. not fan of veggies, I didn’t really like them, and my mother had to really tried hard to get me to eat them. They are filled with nutrients and vitamins, so good for you, but you know how young kids can be… Now, I really appreciate the flavor, texture, and the nostalgic feeling I get when I eat them. Hijiki is more of a firm seaweed, unlike dried seaweed or the ones you see in miso soup. they are shaped like pieces of broken vermicelli, has a cooked texture similar to buckwheat noodles. Kinpira gobo is braised burdock root and carrot in a sweet and salty sauce. it has very firm, almost crunchy. It is really “your mom’s homemade dishes” here, and they were really great! Again, it is meant for appetizer for one, so it is NOT a large plate.
Then, we moved on to some sushi! We ordered some assorted sushi, and each one was fresh, tasty, and pretty awesome. We got some salmon, tuna, yellowtail, mackerel, shrimp, scallop, and so on. The sushi rice was just right, and the fish pieces were thick and refreshing. It was plate full of deliciousness.
I was among Ikura lovers, which is salmon roe, so I was in heaven. Ikura is one of my favorite sushi, so I was happy to see so many Ikura… It was very fresh, and they put generous amount of Ikura, so it was really great!
Again, they take their time making each dish, so it might take a bit longer to get your food, but once you do, you will be happy to receive the quality food. I was happy to have found this Japanese restaurant in Boulder, if I go back to the area, I will definitely go back for some more!
Sushi Bistro Taski – 1575 Folsom St, Ste 201, Boulder, CO 80302