Order This: Uncle's Crispy Calamari

September 2012

At the month-old Uncle, a noodle bar in LoHi, I ordered the promising-sounding roasted cauliflower with curry, golden raisins, coconut, and crispy shallots. But the jammed restaurant was so loud, the server misunderstood me and brought the calamari with flash-fried shishito peppers instead.

This turned out to be a happy coincidence because when the cauliflower did finally arrive, it was not at all roasted and was in desperate need of salt and citrus. The calamari, on the other hand, was the dish of the night: The lacy strips of squid were crispy and delicate. The blistered peppers offered vegetal crunch and a hint of heat. And the squeeze of lime and sprinkling of togarashi (a Japanese spice blend that combines red chile flakes with sesame seeds, nori, and dried orange peel) added satisfying depth. Even better was a quick dunk in the fiery harissa mayo that came alongside the (ho-hum) crab tots.

Tip: Shishito peppers are not new to menus—they've long been available at Black Pearl, the Corner Office, and Bones—but I'm glad Uncle reminded me how much I like them.

2215 W. 32nd Ave., 303-433-3263