Kenichi – Aspen


533 E. Hopkins Ave, Aspen, CO 81611

Date dined: 3.23.12

Rating: 7.3

View of the city at night

Kenichi is a contemporary Asian restaurant in the heart of tiny Aspen. They currently have four locations around the country but have been a mainstay in Colorado since 1991. With fresh seafood flown in daily the menu boasts a variety of sashimi and creative rolls as well as composed dishes created by executive chef Ed Schmidt.

Kenichi also offers a variety of dining experiences. In addition to sitting in the sceney main dining room you have the option to enjoy an omakase meal at the sushi bar courtesy of sushi master Kiyomi Sano or enjoy the privacy of the Tatami room with a group of friends which was what we decided to do. One of the benefits of the tatami room is that you have the ability to customize your own playlist by hooking your ipod up to the sound system. Always a bonus.

With a group of hungry boys we needed to order big. Here are most of the dishes we had.

Grilled shishito peppers. Average. These really had no seasoning and were pretty dry. Good thing we also had edamame with sea salt.

Shishito Peppers

The yellowtail collar broiled and glazed in a soy mirin reduction was incredibly tender and flavorful though the presentation was sloppy. When we told the waiter we were interested in ordering one he literally leapt up and ran to the kitchen as he said they tend to run out quickly.

Yellowtail Collar

The dynamite shrimp is our host’s favorite dish which he orders religiously every time he goes to Kenichi. Sometimes a second order is necessary (this time we had 3). This is tempura fried tiger shrimp with masago, a special aioli and Kenichi teriyaki sauce. The tender shrimp is a little crispy and a little spicy- a great combination.

Dynamite Shrimp

The blackened Hawiian ahi tuna in cajun spices was our waiter’s top recommendation. It is served very rare and sliced on top of avocado mixed with grain mustard. I thought this dish was fine and would satisfy any tuna lover – but a tuna lover I am not so I found it a bit bland despite the grill seasoning.

Blackened Tuna

The miso glazed cod is usually a staple order. The fish was marinated for 72 hours in miso and broiled so that it was cooked through all the way and flaked into tender bite sized pieces.

Miso Glazed Cod

The chicken skewers were ordered for our one non-fish eating friend (the horror!).

Chicken Skewers

The ton gyoza was a really delightful dish of dumplings. Filled with broken arrow ranch wild boar these giant pot stickers were pan seared with dried cherry nimono and served with a salty dipping broth. Some of the best and most original pot stickers I have had.

Ton Gyoza

Next was the yellowtail serrano which I thankfully split with just one other person because it was so delicious. A delicate dish of evenly sliced yellowtail in a pool of tangy basil vinaigrette and spicy serrano peppers. Melt in your mouth.

Yellowtail Serrano

I also shared a plate of fresh sashimi and sushi.

Yellowtail, Uni, Salmon

Down at the other end of the table another two split the tuna tartare which was mixed with avocado and seasoned with sesame.

Tuna Tartare

For the table we ordered a bunch of rolls to share but the one to note was the Blake roll – a combination of tempura shrimp, cucumber and avocado rolled inside out and topped with spicy tuna and a dash of eel sauce.

Assorted Rolls

Whether you are in Aspen enjoying the incredible skiing in the winter and spring or the fresh air and greenery of the mountains in the summer and fall Kenichi is always the go-to for fresh and creative Japanese.

Our waiter serving sake shots


Also check out this post on www.Dwellable.com

Filed Under: Date Spot, Drinks, Groups, Travel Tags: , , , 2 Comments

2 responses to “Kenichi – Aspen”

  1. JAS says:

    You can’t beat the dynamite shrimp or the cod. Atmosphere is awesome after redecoration, although lost some of the old Aspen vibe, but it had to modernize with the times. Been going here for 10 years and the food is just as good today as it was 10 years ago!

    • Laryssa says:

      Thanks for the kind words. No, I’m afraid I haven’t tried the Wine Jester, and yes, I agree that Highlands Vicinity coimrpse a very cool neighborhood. I know Mondo Vino in the wine realm, and I’ve eaten at several restaurants in that area and liked them all.

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