Simple decor, simple sushi presentation and simply delicious flavors
Considering Boulder’s location and the relatively small Asian, make that Japanese, population, there’s a lot of sushi to be had in the People’s Republic. Every supermarket in town sells sushi (some made on-site by Japanese chefs), and there are five sushi restaurants on (or no more than a short block from) Pearl Street between 10th and 15th. Sushi Zanmai and Sushi Tora were both around when I moved here in 1988, and I’m not sure which came first. I do know that Sushi Zanmai is showy and exudes a karaoke exuberance, while Sushi Tora has an air of Zenlike tranquility — at least early in the evening. The sushi at both if very food, made to order by trained sushi chefs using fresh ingredients.
Sushi Tora, whichsome three years ago was bought by the same folks who have Tahoe Tequila Bistro and since then have opened the Pearl Street Steak Room. These are three very different restaurants on two sides of one city block. They have managed to present each totally differently in terms of appearance, ambiance and food — and I give them a lot of credit for that. Bottom like is that if you didn’t know they were under the same ownership, you wouldn’t know.
Looking for a light early-evening bite recently, my husband and I stopped at Sushi Tora in time for happy hour. He is unenthusiastic about both nori and raw fish, so the availability of house-made dumplings worked for him. I, OTOH, love both the taste of the sea that nori conveys and the rice, fish and vegetables it contains.
Price check: Happy hour pricing applies to small selection of small-plate items with most under $5, plus half-price beer and hot sake.