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Best Not-So-Traditional Japanese Restaurant Denver 2009 - Kokoro



2390 S. Colorado Blvd.

Denver, CO 80222


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An argument could be made that all Japanese food is fast food. Dumplings and noodle bowls are basic convenience foods, and sushi's ready with the slash of a knife. But Kokoro puts a uniquely American (and, arguably, uniquely Denver) spin on this idea that lands its noodle bowls, rice bowls, gyoza and sushi right between Chipotle fast-casual and old-time Woolworth's lunch-counter grub — except here the customers are eating unagi rice bowls, shrimp tempura udon, tekka maki and "sobaghetti" (yakisoba with vegetables and sauce) instead of cheeseburgers and milkshakes.
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The fact that Kokoro could be considered the best of *anything* makes me doubt the validity of this entire list. I've been there once, and it was literally one of the worst meals of my life. Their "tempura" is a greasy lump of something shredded and fried - honestly, I'm pretty sure it was hash-browns. Whatever it was, it was beyond disgusting. And so was the rest of the food. No redeeming qualities whatsoever, except for maybe the prices (but really, paying dirt-cheap prices for inedible crap is not what I'd call a good deal).


I really want to like this place because I live close to the one on Broadway but the truth is it's pretty awful. I'm a good eater and have thrown out more of their food than I have ever eaten - forget the sushi! Also, they lost me for good recently when I was waiting for a to-go order in a completely empty restaurant and was told that I needed to go stand by the door instead of sitting at the counter while waiting for my order. Taki's Golden Bowl is soooo much better.