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Photo by Matt Nager

Best Restaurants 2019: Uchi

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Don’t go to Uchi looking for a relaxed neighborhood sushi spot. The scene there is hip and modern, and guests buzzing over chef Tyson Cole’s pristine nigiri and inventive Japanese fare will likely drown out quiet conversation. But do go for a dynamic meal rooted in classic techniques and Asian ingredients. For example, that nigiri won’t come with wasabi and soy sauce because it’s already been expertly seasoned with the likes of citrus or brown butter or fried garlic, and even tender grilled chicken breast (“sasami yaki”) is intriguing with notes of lemongrass and coconut milk. Pastry chef Ariana Quant’s desserts are equally exhilarating; try her jasmine cream number, which plays a thick, floral, whipped panna cotta off an icy cilantro granita, juicy compressed pineapple, and crunchy honey cookie crumbs. Presented like an edible terrarium in a footed glass, it embodies the unexpected delight delivered by every bite at Uchi. $$$$, 2500 Lawrence St., 303-444-1922

(MORE: Read our 2019 restaurant review of Uchi)

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