With a menu touting ramen, Japanese fried chicken, and bacon fried rice, it would be easy to dine at the month-old Osaka Ramen and overlook the chilled green bean small plate. But that would be a mistake. “It’s a great bar snack—or healthy anytime snack,” owner Jeff Osaka says. In fact, these crunchy, perfectly al dente beans are a riff on a dish Osaka’s mother used to make him growing up. “I want people to enjoy the things I’ve been eating for a long time,” Osaka says of the restaurant’s mission.

The recipe is simple—just before serving, blanched beans are tossed with sesame, sugar, and a soy glaze. The key, explains Osaka, is the sesame. As orders come in, cooks on the line pound fresh seeds in a suribachi, a Japanese mortar and pestle, to release the oils and flavors. The fragrant paste then coats the beans and comes through in every bite.

I wish I could say I discovered the beans on my own, but I didn’t. I only ordered the starter after a server recommended it. I’m glad I followed her lead, and you will be too.

Bonus: Starting today, Osaka Ramen begins serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

2611 Walnut St., 303-955-7983

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