For anyone familiar with the Asian restaurants of Denver's many strip malls, Iwayama Sushi is instantly comfortable, with its hodge-podge decor from the pages of a Lowe's home improvement catalog, rows of maneki-neko cats with paws raised in solidarity, and perky soy sauce bottles on every table. An extensive list of maki, nigiri and other sushi-style offerings - dominates the menu, from the traditional to the creative and slightly whacky - like and odd but satisfying tempura lobster and bacon roll. But rarer Hawaiian specialties also get loving treatment from the kitchen: kalua pork, the near-mythical loco moco, and Spam musubi that somehow transcends the canned meat's processed nature to become something at once refined and satisfying. Hawaiian plate lunches (available for dinner too) with Korean and Japanese influence and fish in various grilled, fried, and steamed preparations round out the entree selections in this delightful island hidden in Littleton's suburban sea.
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For more than a year, Mark Antonation ate his way up Federal Boulevard. With that journey done, he'll now explore different cuisines from around the globe right here in metro Denver, one month at a time, in Ethniche. This strip mall...
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