i-Fish, a new Pan-Asian restaurant, opens tonight at 2200 Market Street, in a completely redesigned space that was formerly occupied by Saucy's, a short-lived barbecue joint.
The kitchen, helmed by Jake Rand, who used to be the head sushi chef at Elway's Downtown, is turning out what he calls "Pan-Asian cuisine that's classically prepared and mixed with lots of Latin influences." His primary partner in the kitchen -- Aki Nobu -- spent fifteen years knifing and dicing at Sushi Den -- and also did time at Chaya, in Los Angeles, before relocating back to Denver. "He's awesome," enthuses Rand, who left Elway's in January to guide the overall vision of i-Fish, which was originally to be called Ichiban.
In addition to a traditional sushi syllabus, the à la carte menu, which utilizes seasonal ingredients procured from nearby Pacific Mercantile, a killer Asian market, also features sustainable fish and all Colorado lamb, beef and pork products. And the bar program is spearheaded by Patrick Williams, who slung drinks at Steuben's and Scruffy Murphy's. "Between Aki's talents, ingredients from Pacific Mercantile, fresh fish from all over the world, a really cool cocktail list from Patrick and getting as much meat as we can from Colorado, I think we're going to have a very distinct restaurant," says Rand.
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The space, which features a dining room and spacious lounge area, is sleek and moneyed, with cosmopolitan furnishings, dramatically bold accents and a confetti-specked sushi bar made from recycled glass. "This isn't just going to be a restaurant," promises Rand. "It's going to be fun and lively with a great bar scene, and we're also going to have two daily happy hours, including a late-night happy hour with a limited menu, he adds.
I-fish is open daily for lunch and dinner. For more info, call 303-708-1255, or point your clicker to www.ifishdenver.com.