First Look: Teriyaki Madness opens in University Hills shopping center

It's the "frenzy experienced by our raving fans who desire to have our dishes daily. Some even dine at our restaurants two to three times a day. Now that's madness and we love it!" That's the mantra of Teriyaki Madness, a Las Vegas-based chain that recently opened its first Denver store in the University Hills shopping center.

See also: Potbelly Sandwich Shop opening in University Hills

"The food quality of Teriyaki Madness sold me on the concept," says manager Mariyah Holdren, a Denver restaurant and bar industry veteran, who opened the restaurant with her uncle. "It's made-to-order, fresh, scratch-made, fast-casual food that fills a missing niche, namely a healthier choice for people who want a great, quick meal," adds Holdren.

The 54-seat space, which also touts a patio, is popular for its house-blended teriyaki sauce, a mix of soy sauce, ginger and garlic, and a few other "secret" ingredients. "The co-founders are all from Seattle, and while there's a strong Asian influence there, they couldn't find good teriyaki sauce, so they started doing a lot of recipe testing and eventually came up with one that everyone loved," says Holdren.

And there's a bottle of teriyaki sauce, along with bottles of sriracha and soy sauce, on every table. But if you want hot mustard for your egg rolls or potstickers, you're out of luck. According to Holdren, that's a condiment that's lost on Las Vegans. "Hardly anyone in Las Vegas ever asks for it, but everyone here wants it, so we're working on getting it," Holdren promises.

The menu, which is heavy on fried appetizers, is an otherwise straightforward catchall of teriyaki-intensive bowls and plates: Pick a size, either a bowl of a plate; choose a grilled protein (chicken, beef or organic tofu); and then bulk it up with white rice, brown rice, fried rice, vegetables or yakisoba noodles. Portions are huge, prices low.

Seventeen additional stores are slated to open by the end of the year, two of which will be in the Denver area: one downtown and another, says Holdren, in the suburbs.

Teriyaki Madness is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Here's a peek at the food and the space.

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