Chef Troy Guard (TAG Restaurant, TAG Raw Bar, TAG Burger Bar) has built his career on juxtaposition. He's known for combining unlikely ingredients—Pop Rocks and flash-seared kampachi, anyone?—and somehow making them seem like natural pairings. No doubt unusual flavor mash-ups will also dominate at his new ventures.
And so, when Guard and sous chefs Shaun Motoda and Sam Freund overhauled TAG Raw Bar's menu for the first time since the restaurant opened two years ago, I expected a few surprises. But never did I anticipate that one of the standout items—the Kampachi Krush, pictured—would list Orange Crush as an ingredient.
The dish is a play on Nobu Matsuhisa's New Style sashimi; here it's built on tender, buttery slices of kampachi marinated in the neon soda. Guard reinforces the citrus note with orange and grapefruit segments, but it's the daikon, jalapeño, soy sauce, and cilantro that keep the whole bit from becoming cloying.
Guard rolled out the playful dish at the Chefs Up Front fundraiser in March. The combination got a resounding thumbs up, and now it's on the menu
1423 Larimer St., Suite 010, 303-996-2685
—Photo by Rachel Nobrega