Go Now: Skew

January 12 2011, 11:00 AM

There's a big difference between good Asian food and bad. Thankfully, yesterday's lunch at Skew—a brand-new, fast-casual Asian joint near DU—tells me I'll be back.

The spot (formerly the home of Stick-e-Star) peddles affordable street-food-style eats, which is to say that the multicultural menu leans heavily on kebabs. There are house "skews"—you choose your meat and marinade (ginger-teriyaki, three-spice satay, etc.)—or more than a dozen specialty skewers that run the gamut from chicken yakitori to shrimp cakes. From there, you can add sides like the crunchy house salad with zippy ginger dressing or spiced edamame. Don't miss the Thai sticky rice, which is meant to be balled up, eaten with your hands, and dipped into a variety of sauces.

The idea here, says chef Ton Phairatphiboon, is to mix and match a variety of dishes—and the food ($2.50 to $9.50) is priced accordingly.

To maximize my experience, I chose the bento box, which includes an ever-changing selection of sides, paired with skewers of my choice (I went with the dark meat chicken flavored with yakiniku, which means "grilled meat" in Japanese). The chicken was tender and robust and an ideal foil to the accompanying sushi roll, salads, and vegetable offerings. The jewel of the meal, however, was the sweet and smoky Kurobuta sausage imported from Japan.    

Best of all, Skew's low-key but polished eats are fresh and surprisingly light. I ate every bite of my bento box, but I didn't leave feeling uncomfortable or weighed down. In fact, I might go back for lunch today.

Bonus: Skew has a full bar and an impressive lineup of cocktails and sakes.

2070 S. University Blvd.