Avanti Food & Beverage opened in LoHi last summer, giving chefs the opportunity to test new restaurant concepts before moving to brick-and-mortar. One of the restaurant incubator’s first concepts, Farmer Girl, recently moved out, leaving a space to fill. Another tenant, Bixo, moved downstairs into the space, and now, Bamboo Sushi is the new kid on the block.
The Portland-based restaurant stands apart from other sushi spots with one major distinction—it’s the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant. Bamboo partners with the Marine Stewardship Council, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Blue Ocean Institute, and others to ensure responsible and sustainable sourcing of seafood for all seven locations of its restaurants. Beyond the ocean, Bamboo Sushi sources top quality produce and meats from local, organic, and sustainable farms.
While it may seem odd that an already successful restaurant from out of state has set up shop in a hyper-local restaurant incubator, CEO Kristofor Lofgren explained that their stint at Avanti is a time to connect with Denver’s restaurant community. “This is a chance for us to say ‘thank you’ to Denver for letting us have this opportunity.” Lofgren said he sees a cultural crossover between Denver and Portland, making the Mile High City a good fit for the restaurant’s first expansion outside of Oregon.
Executive chef Jin Soo Yang’s menu is crafted to be approachable while bringing creative riffs on typical sushi selections. The menu features traditional nigiri, sashimi, and rolls, as well as specialty items including Bamboo nachos ($9) topped with spicy tuna, crab, yuzu guacamole, spicy aioli, and eel sauce. Bamboo’s signature Green Machine roll ($9) is filled with tempura fried long beans and green onions, then topped with avocado and a house-made cilantro and sweet chili aioli.
You can catch Bamboo Sushi at Avanti over the next six to seven months, before the restaurant moves into a brick-and-mortar location a few blocks away in LoHi.
All Photography by Charles Hildreth.