It's still getting its sea legs, but Den Deli and Seafood Market, the third in a mini empire of chow houses from Toshi and Yasu Kizaki, the two brothers who also run Sushi Den (1487 South Pearl) and Izakaya Den (1518 South Pearl), officially opened at 1501 South Pearl early last week. "People in the neighborhood were anxious for a place where they could get Toshi's great food, but not necessarily have to spend two hours at dinner in order to get it," explains general manager Chris Dunphy. "And let's face it: Toshi has the best fish in the state, so now the neighborhood can pop in here and get the same great fish to take home."
But fresh fish and shellfish -- unagi, hamachi, tako, shrimp and maguro on the day I stopped in -- are just the beginning of what you can lug home from Den Deli. There are miso black cod bento boxes and ready-made sushi, as well as a long deli case showcasing everything from hijiki salad and chicken skewers to soy bean curd salad, calamari salad and chile-glazed shrimp. There's even a bakery with housemade desserts and pastries from Michiko Kizaki, Toshi's wife, and a dozen or so ice cream flavors from the Pajama Baking Company just down the block at 1595 South Pearl.
The sandwich board should be up and running this week and the Japanese noodle bar -- yaki soba, soba, ramen, pad Thai and udon -- will hopefully be in full swing by mid-January, Dunphy tells me. "We're getting busier every day and lunches are picking up, but we still need to get a few things off the ground, which will happen soon," he says.
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In the meantime, there are a few tables strewn throughout the long and narrow space if you want to eat in, and by the end of the month, the simple square dining room in the back, complete with communal seating, should be open, too.