Best Sushi Bar - 2002
Readers' Choice: Sushi Den
This hip, Hapa-ning chain now has three links (two in Boulder), but we like Hapa's Cherry Creek sushi bar best. The sushi is always super-fresh, interesting and well executed, offered in cutting-edge combinations that might sound silly but actually work. For starters, there's the "multiple orgasm," a tempura-battered sushi roll filled with cream cheese, crab and smoked salmon, all fried and then smothered in a gooey white sauce. Since they have to serve dishes like that, it's no wonder the sushi chefs are entertaining and friendly, ready to crack a joke or make conversation with the customers (unlike so many knife-wielding crankypants we run into at other places). But Hapa's real selling point is the scene, which is just plain fun: calm and relaxing at lunch, loud and raucous at dinner, with an L-shaped bar that makes for convenient people-watching.