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Where to Eat Now: Mizu Izakaya in LoHi

The neighborhood's newest sushi spot is undoubtedly here to stay

As hot as the LoHi neighborhood is—what with globally inspired eats at mortuary-turned-restaurant at Linger and never-ending lines at Little Man Ice Cream—the amount of restaurant shake-ups happening just down the street is perplexing. One building, in particular, has seen its fair share of tenants, located on the corner of 16th and Boulder. In the past few years, the building has housed everything from British-styled ChurchHill’s Public House to short-lived Neapolitan pizza kitchen, Cibo, which shuttered in under a year. Most recently, the space was snatched up by Mizu Izakaya {1560 Boulder Street, Denver; 720.372.7100}, which opened quietly this past December. Fate seems on the izakaya’s side, as Mizu Izakaya has quickly become a hotspot in the Highlands ‘hood, dishing out a wide variety of Japanese specialties in a stunning contemporary space.

mizu izakaya

Stunning mural by Jher Seno | Photo courtesy of Kayla Jones (@1000thingstodoindenver)

Owner Hong Lee, of East Moon Restaurant Group, has introduced Mizu as a traditional izakaya experience with classic tapas-style shareable plates, omakase eats (complete with its own room), and a raw bar with plentiful sushi and sashimi offerings. Centered in a stunning modern space with a low-key bar, lounge-style seating, and a beautiful mural backdrop painted by Jher Seno, Mizu is a sight to see.

mizu izakaya

Lamb Carpaccio with grilled bok choy, radish, pea tendrils, and shaved asparagus | Photo courtesy of Morgan Carter

Touching on a wide variety of fare, Mizu trips around the cuisine of Japan, with sushi and sashimi—importing fresh catches straight from a market in Japan—raw offerings such as Lamb Carpaccio, donburi rice dishes, classic tonkotsu ramen, as well as smoky charcoal-grilled fare like Black Cod and Beef Short Rib,  thanks to the onsite Japanese binchotan grill.

mizu izakaya

Raindrop Droptop | Photo courtesy of Kayla Jones (@1000thingstodoindenver)

Central to any izakaya is its bar program, and the bespoke one at Mizu Izakaya truly shines. Here, the bar staff goes beyond shaking and stirring, taking their craft to the next level by conceiving a new lineup of springtime sips, like the bubbly Passionfruit Fizz and the warming tequila-forward cocktail, Raindrop Droptop. The restaurant also boasts an impressive list of sakes curated by Master Sommelier Sally Mohr, one of few Americans to earn an Advanced Sake Certificate from the Sake Education Council, and a balanced lineup of local and international beers and wines.

mizu izakaya

On the lineup for happy hour: Pork Belly Sliders served with grilled pork, Asian slaw, and basil-cabbage slaw | Photo courtesy of Kayla Jones (@1000thingstodoindenver)

Paired with a new happy hour and brunch menu—complete with bottomless mimosas for $10 and $5 cocktails—Mizu Izakaya is promising a whole new level of culinary intrigue in the happening LoHi community.

Mizu Izakaya is open Monday-Thursday 4-11pm; Friday 4pm-1am; Saturday Noon-1am; and Sunday Noon-9pm. 

By Morgan Carter, Editor