Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dinner at Domo in Denver

Ben had been talking up the restaurant he wanted to take us to dinner and I admit I was a little skeptical - Denver and Japanese food didn't seem to be a likely pairing. And then we arrived and I saw this:

And fell in love with this charming restaurant - it's a little Japanese oasis found on the outskirts of Denver. And the interior was just as cool as the exterior, delivering on the perfect atmosphere to deliver "country style" Japanese food .  As you can tell from everyone's faces, we were all excited for the meal ahead (and for those of you who guessed that I forced everyone to pose for pictures all weekend, you are also right!)

With a 7 pm dinner reservation, I was surprised how empty the restaurant was. Not that I was complaining, it gave us plenty of time to soak in the atmosphere while we waiting for Miley and her boyfriend Curt to join us :

Once they arrived, we placed for our order for drinks - Andrew ordered his standard tall Sapporo but was pleasantly surprised by the metal tankard that accompanied it.  It kept the beer nice and cold although we felt like we were dining in medieval times!

Ben, Amy and I opted for a sake drink special that resembled a mojito and I loved it - I found it delicious and refreshing:
The best part about eating at Domo is that every meal is accompanied by seven free side dishes that are mean to be shared family style across the table. Considering that these were generously proportioned dishes, it was like getting seven appetizers for free and they were all yummy. It was a good mix between all veggie dishes, such as bamboo shoots, pickled radish and broccoli as well as proteins like a beef-stew mixture:

For my entree, I opted for comfort food - a Yamakake noodle bowl, featuring pork, grated Japanese yam and udon noodles. To tell you the truth, I didn't notice the yam at all and I found the pork to be kind of bland but I happily slurped up the noodles and broth. It was just tough to beat the amazing side dishes that were served before our entrees came out.

Domo also features an extensive outdoor patio (we opted to eat indoors because it was a little chilly), garden and a museum on the premises, so we decided to stroll around after our meal:

Did I mention that Domo also has a large Aikido studio?

The museum section was crammed full of collectibles such as vintage sake cups, clothing and cooking utensils. It was a lot to take in all at once:

This room could've been taken straight out of a samurai castle/museum I toured in Hiroshima:

As I was walking out the door, I noticed this display - mind you, it was in the restaurant section of Domo, not the museum half. It's supposedly two million year old salt from Mongolia and I believe the little vial on the right offered restaurant patrons the chance to taste it - I didn't try it and I'm torn now whether 1) that was the wise decision or 2) I missed out on an incredible for those of you who do end up going, try it and let me know! :)

After Domo, we headed to another section of Denver to enjoy a night of karaoke (Curt was brave enough to belt out a song for the crowd) and bar hopping.  Then it was straight to bed, since we needed to get up at a decent time on Sunday morning to head to Boulder!

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