As a landlocked state, it’s no surprise fresh seafood is less common here than coastal locales. But as more transplants seek out Denver as a desirable home they crave cuisines that are similar to those of their hometowns. In fact – according to 2018 data from the United States Census Bureau – the largest number of Colorado residents from out of state are from California – a coastal state with many fresh seafood options and a diverse food scene. One of those transplants – hailing from Los Angeles – is Bradford Kim, owner of Berkeley Park Sushi Co.
Kim moved to Denver several years ago and noticed the lack of fresh seafood compared to his hometown of Los Angeles. “Before I moved here Denver didn’t have a casual sushi experience. It was either high-end stuff or regular [strip mall] sushi restaurants,” stated Kim. Kim had connections to seafood companies in LA from his previous career in restaurant financing. He worked in the industry for several years and started to take sushi classes in order to better understand the market, then he fell in love with it. In 2016 he opened Cherry Hills Sushi Co. then Park Hill Sushi Co. before opening Berkeley Park Sushi Co. in September of this year. His goal is to open more locations in different cities around the Denver metro area and eventually expand across state lines.
At Berkeley Park Sushi Co. – along with the other two locations — Kim focuses on fresh ingredients, clean preparations and attentive service to make sure that each bite tastes exactly as it should, every time. “It’s all just good fish and very simple presentations,” said Kim. The menu is modest and includes hand rolls, sashimi and chirashi bowls. The hand rolls his staff prepares are cylindrical rather than cone-shaped in order for guests to get an even portion of fish, rice and nori in each bite. “It’s just three ingredients: fish, rice and nori,” Kim explained of the hand roll. The sashimi comes with a small amount of sauce to accentuate the fish’s flavor, not mask it. Better yet, you won’t walk away hungry and your wallet will have a couple more bills in it than you would expect for a high-quality sushi restaurant.
You can get three handrolls for $12.99, four for $16.99 or five for $20.99 and choose from the standard items of cucumber, salmon, tuna, spicy tuna, spicy shrimp, blue crab and spicy scallops along with one choice of a special item that includes unagi, lobster or negihama. The chirashi bowl ($13.99) comes with your choice of three standard items. Sashimi options consist of yellowtail ($6.99), tuna ($6.99), salmon ($6.99), albacore ($6.99), chili crisp tuna ($7.99) and wagyu beef ($7.99).
The atmosphere is unique to Denver as every seat in the restaurant faces the sushi bar – an intentional arrangement is so your server can observe as you eat your roll and only serve the second one once the first one has been finished. Serving hand rolls individually allows for the fish to stay cool, the rice to stay warm and the nori to stay crisp so that each bite is perfect. In addition to the food, the drink menu is quite extensive. Berkeley Park’s menu includes over 20 Japanese beers and a well-curated sake collection that all pair nicely with the simple menu.
Whether it’s a date night, happy hour with a couple friends or you’re just looking for a quick week night dinner Berkeley Park Sushi Co. is sure to satisfy your craving for fresh sushi at an affordable price. Keep an eye out for more of Kim’s sushi restaurants as he continues to expand his concept across the city and state.
Berkeley Park Sushi Co is located at 4404 Yates St., Denver. Open Monday – Thursday 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. and 4- 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. and 4- 10 p.m., and Sunday 4- 8 p.m.