When I heard that Bamboo Sushi was opening in Avanti Food & Beverage, I was both pleased and confused. Pleased because the restaurant is the world’s first Marine Stewardship Council–certified sustainable sushi restaurant. That means you can feel good about every single roll and piece of nigiri and sashimi you order. Seven years ago, I attended a symposium in which Kristofor Lofgren, the CEO of Bamboo’s parent company, the Sustainable Restaurant Group, spoke on the topic of seafood sustainability. By all accounts, this is a company that walks the talk.

But I was confused because Bamboo is Portland-based, and that seemed to defy the Avanti-restaurant-incubator model. That is, until I met with Lofgren last week. The Avanti rendition of Bamboo is indeed a precursor for something larger: a brick-and-mortar that will open late fall roughly six blocks from the food hall. The mini-restaurant, which opens today at 11 a.m., allows the team to learn the nuances of Denver’s dining public before launching a full-scale spot. “Avanti is our opportunity to say ‘thank you, Denver,’” Lofgren says. “We want to hear your feedback: You like this? You don’t like that? This is our opportunity to learn the city.”

So go, and order from an affordable menu that runs from okonomiyaki (executive chef Jin Soo Yang takes the savory Japanese-style pancake in a Korean direction) to jewel-toned nigiri and tempura-fried cauliflower. Whatever you do, do not miss the traditional Japanese blanched spinach salad with sesame-soy dressing. Taste, enjoy, and let the crew behind the counter know what you think.

3200 Pecos St., 720-269-4778, bamboosushi.com

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.