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Teaming one of Denver's top sushi masters with a bakery known for circular cakes that bake a layer at a time on a horizontal rod is either a recipe for weirdness or a stroke of creative genius that takes full advantage of the skills of Sushi Sasa owner Wayne Conwell and baum-cake expert Heather Alcott. The place opens at 9 a.m. every morning as a bakery cafe featuring tarts, macarons and coffee drinks; lunch and dinner showcase Conwell's creative and precise sushi along with other Japanese dishes like soba and udon noodle bowls and, of course, plated desserts, many built around slices of baumkuchen -- a Japanese-German hybrid that requires a special oven (Alcott says hers is the only one in the U.S.). Denver diners are often leery of cafe restaurants that try to be too many things at once, but everything that crosses the counter here, as much art as cuisine, demonstrates expertise, quality and sheer fun. With a modern, minimalist dining room and a sleek sushi bar, the restaurant still pulls off warmth and charm in part because of the confidence and sincerity pouring from the kitchen and bakery.