I’m just going to make this one short and full of food porn. Keri and I are big sushi fans, so I made sure to pick at least one sushi place we hadn’t been to for Restaurant Week. I’d heard good things about Sushi Hai, so we headed to the Highlands to sample some of their fresh fish. This place is full of secrets, number one being the Restaurant Week menu! We had to ask for a copy of it, and we were a little bummed when we saw the limited listed options.

Miso soup or house salad to start, short ribs or tuna poke (above) for the second course, and then one of two entrees for dinner. Luckily there was a slight caveat: one could also select one special roll and one basic roll each, or one special roll and two sashimi. I got the miso soup (good, lots of sea weed, but pretty much miso soup) and Keri opted for the house salad (nice ginger-lemon dressing, but otherwise unremarkable). I was a little worried that I might have picked a dud. That is, until our amazing second course arrived.

Keri’s tuna poke was the biggest pile of fresh tuna we’d ever seen for an appetizer! And my short ribs were spectacular, juicy and covered in delicious seasoning. They were also pretty big and I got 8 of them! Really, really good stuff. Another secret: the short ribs don’t come with the tempura onion rings listed on the regular menu but apparently they are cut differently too, with more meat. Regardless, it was a good surprise after the lackluster salad. Next it was onto a big platter of sushi.

I was blown away by their presentation. My sushi all looked like delicious dragons of winding fish and rice! We got 2 basic rolls and 2 special rolls. The spider roll (four big round ones on the right) was excellent, but the Rainbow Roll (at the bottom) was the best I’ve had in Denver. The pieces of fish on top were huge! And the California roll inside was… well, a California roll, but a moist one. Yes, I said it, moist. For our “special” rolls we got the Chicksho Maki (at the top) and the Hama-Pon (in the middle.) Check out the close up of them on the cover of this post. Hama-Pon is short for hamachi-ponzu, and it also had cilantro, cucumber and avocado. This was our favorite roll, but I had to sort of chew it just right to get the loose cilantro on top to mix in. The hamachi was perfect: rich and buttery, just firm enough. The Chicksho, with tuna, jalapeno and cucumber, topped with salmon and avocado was also good, but it didn’t win our love in the same way. And after all this we got dessert, too!

The mochi ice cream was delicious. I love the chewy consistency of the rice-stuff they wrap the ice cream in, and the flavors were good too. We liked mango (above) and red bean (not pictured) the best. We also tried green tea, which was not very flavorful, and coffee flavor. All told we saved quite a bit of money and had an excellent sushi dinner. Sushi Hai also has tatami rooms and a huge downstairs “speakeasy” bar area.

Now there’s another (legal) way to get Hai in Colorado!