4
| Lists |

The List: Crazy concepts...but they work

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Shazz was a weird one to review. While I was both flummoxed and annoyed by the goofy, jazzy, half-Zen philosophy espoused by the restaurant's website, some servers and owner Benny Kaplan, I absolutely loved the food. Which got me thinking... what other restaurants have what should have been a crippling concept or gestalt, but manage to survive simply because  the food was so good? Here's my list:

1. Beatrice & Woodsley, 38 South Broadway.  B&W is the king of the weird concept/fantabulous food gang.  Handsome lumberjacks?  Winemaker's daughters?  French/Californian/Coloradan cuisine of the early 1900s?  This place has it all--including a design to match.  And the amazing thing, it all works.

2. Root Down, 1600 West 33rd Avenue.  With connections running from sustainable farming and the contradictions of modern culinary sophistication to the influences of 1960s jazz musicians and improvisational music, Root Down lays it on thick.  But then, someone must be digging the juxtaposition because it seems like the place is almost always full.

3. The Kitchen, 1039 Pearl Street.  We're so cool about our wind power and all-natural produce and local sourcing that we don't have to make a big deal out of it.  Except on our menu, of course...  And our website...  And on the chalkboards in the dining room...  And every time we open our mouths...  Look, I love the planet just as much as the next guy, but I don't need to hear it preached about over breakfast.  And if not for the fact that the breakfasts at The Kitchen are so good, I'd never have to hear it from them again.

4. Izakaya Den, 1518 South Pearl Street.  I know!  Let's start a Japanese restaurant that serves Italian food.  I can't imagine the pitch for Izakaya Den having gone much differently than that, but what kills me is that Japanese and Italian (and French and Spanish and American) actually work together pretty well, making for a menu that is both indescribable to people who haven't been there for themselves, and almost indescribably delicious.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.