Some restaurants remind me of Queen -- not because they're champions, but because they put cuisines together in unexpected ways, like the band's melding of operatic melodies and heavy metal guitar riffs. On the surface, Glaze by Sasa, which I review this week, is one such restaurant.
But the union of Glaze: the Baum Cake Shoppe and Sushi Sasa isn't as strange as it seems. Baum cake, an elaborate, multi-layered dessert that originated in Germany, has taken on a life of its own in Japan, where it has become a popular sweet and, when wrapped in ornate packaging, a much-appreciated hostess gift. Both of Glaze by Sasa's offerings hail from the same country, then, making this eatery's pairing of sushi and baum cakes a related, if unfamiliar, duet.
But other spots around town mix and match cuisines with reckless abandon. Keep reading for three more places guaranteed to rock your expectations of what a restaurant can be.
1) Chai & Chai
12501 East 17th Avenue, Aurora
This independent restaurant on the Anschutz Medical Campus has taken many forms since it opened last fall, but what hasn't changed is the kitchen's dual Indian-and-Arabian concept. At dinner, the kitchen now concentrates on Indian food, but at lunch -- the restaurant's busiest meal, given the hordes of medical professionals in the area -- two separate staffs still cook abbreviated offerings: perhaps chicken biryani, dal and chicken tikka masala on the Indian side and falafel, chicken, and lamb-and-beef wraps on the Arabian.
28025 Colorado 74, Evergreen
At this humble, one-stop joint, you can satisfy all types of cravings. If it's smoked meat you're after, try the pig pile, clucker or tasty cow with piles of smoked pork, chicken or brisket. But if you want something to go with your morning coffee, you can't beat the donuts, which are only served at the location in Evergreen, not the sister restaurant in Golden. Our favorite: the jumbo apple fritters.
Keep reading for one more mix-and-match eatery.
2991 West Evans Avenue
When I drink boba, it's usually to cool down after a steaming bowl of pho. But at Cowbobas, boba tea is paired not with Vietnamese food but with the downhome American grub -- think steak, chicken-fried steak and baked potatoes -- that is this unusual restaurant's hallmark.
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Do you know of other eateries with unusual combos of cuisines? Let us know in the comments section below.