It’s not easy to find El Five, Justin Cucci’s fifth restaurant, located as it is on the penthouse floor of a mixed-use building in LoHi. Nor is it easy to secure a reservation during prime dinner hours. But whatever travails you suffer through to get there—parking, finding the entrance, checking in, riding a wonky elevator, checking in again—it’s worth it for the views alone. From the patio and main dining room, you’re treated to wraparound vistas of our crane-dotted downtown, and from the dining area on the opposite side of the open kitchen, there are vistas of gorgeous Rocky Mountain sunsets. The scene inside is glamorous and glitzy thanks to the vintage Egyptian movie posters that cover just about every surface. The seats are consistently packed, the Mediterranean tapas are enticing—charred baba ghanoush and green gazpacho are favorites—and the bar program, featuring gin and tonics, house-made vermouth, and vino via porron, is top-notch. Once you’re in, it’s a fun ride. 2930 Umatilla St., 303-524-9193

Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen

Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.