We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Izakaya Wonder!”
Review of Amu

Amu
Ranked #112 of 573 Restaurants in Boulder
Cuisines: Japanese
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
CO
Level 6 Contributor
84 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Izakaya Wonder!”
Reviewed March 5, 2013

I visited Amu with my Japanese friend, who did the bulk of the ordering. After having visited Japan and in general loving Japanese culture, but being grossly disappointed by every sushi place I've been in Boulder, I approached Amu with hesitation. However, it was wonderful to see, upon walking in, that one must take their shoes off. The place is small (thankfully!), and extremely authentic. The menu has some strange offerings (including the uni bruschetta), but overall the quality is quite amazing for Boulder! I asked my friend to tell the chef to make his recommendation (omikaze??). What came out was unbelievable, delicious, and beautifully presented! It almost made me feel as if I were back in Kyoto.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank ughughCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

50 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    39
    9
    1
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Best restaurant in Boulder, CO”
Reviewed January 18, 2013

Always a fantastic culinary experience at Amu. The food is typical Japanese, with selected top quality ingredients. The service is great. The place is small, but comfortable, and they have specials which are always amazing and delightful. Everything we've tried there has always been delicious. A place to enjoy every bite. The attention to details is a key ingredient, the food is not only excellent, but beautiful.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lavivis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, CO
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Wonderful Izakaya style”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

I love Amu, it's my favorite place in Boulder. After returning from Japan a couple years ago, I was missing the incredible food, and particularly the small-dish Izakaya style places. Not so much the drinking part, although I do enjoy the good sake, but the fun of sampling a variety of dishes. The food at Amu is very authentic. Sit at the bar, it's really fun. Don't forget to take your shoes off!

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank puckboy18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Authentic Saki Bar with Sharable Food”
Reviewed December 10, 2012

Amu is an authentic Izakaya, the iconic Japanese saki bar. The dishes are inexpensive large tapas of meat and seafood that are definitely not the usual American Japanese restaurant offerings of sushi, teriyaki, and temura. We shared saba duck soup, soft shell crab, and an okonomiyak stuffed cabbage based Japanese pancake with squid and pork cooked in it plus a large saki, of course. Izakaya's are always marked by a large red lantern hanging over the front door and are referred to informally as "red lantern" bars. Amu is a must in our rotation now. It should be noted that the this small addition to the larger Sushi Zanmai sushi place next door is very small and table seating probably needs a reservation. Dining at the small bar, however, provides the opportunity to watch (and interact if you so desire) with the expert chef.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mikecbu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, CO
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Sweetest Sardines Ever”
Reviewed October 19, 2012

We first visited Amu a couple of months ago. I was in Tokyo last December and ever since had been wistful for a taste of a good izakaya (small dishes) style meal. I didn't even know that Amu existed until visiting yelp and seeing it as a highly rated restaurant in Boulder; have lived here 20+years and was out of exploration mode I guess.

I'll admit to being a bit skeptical about getting a good, let alone great, Japanese style seafood meal in land locked Boulder, but we decided to give it a hot.

We arrived early as it is quite small and we wanted to be sure to get a place at the bar where the chef works. As we walked to the door we noticed that there were two small tables outside, both of which were filled with folks that appeared to be Japanese; that seemed like a good omen.

We were greeted as we entered by the hostess and were informed that this was not a sushi bar so we may want to go next door to Sushi Zanmai instead. We assured her that we knew what we were getting into and, with a smile, she ushered us in. As we had hoped we had seats in the middle of the small bar (maybe 10-12 seats) and proceeded to enjoy some of the best food we have ever tasted, anywhere.

Some dishes are prepared by the chef at the bar and some are prepared in a kitchen shared by the restaurant next door. The best were those prepared by the chef; our friend ordered the Yellowtail which was prepared and served quickly. It looked great, but he was not in the mood to share so we'll have to go back to try it out.

I ordered the Sardine sashimi, which was also prepared by the chef. The presentation was beautiful but as soon as I tasted a slice I told my wife that this was one of the top five dishes that I have had in my life, which is a reasonably long one with lots of great eating. Have you ever had fish that was actually sweet? Well, this was. After inquiring of the chef we learned that she had the fresh fish flown in from the Tokyo fish market every day; while possibly not politically correct in carbon aware Boulder, it sure made for a superb, singular eating experience. I'm afraid to go back for fear that the Sardine's will not have made the trip that day.

The only caveat I can offer is that this is an interactive experience, especially sitting at the bar. You feel obligated to engage the chef, even though she (yes, she) seemed a bit shy. And, as there were three of us, the conversation was a bit stilted by having to talk across the middle person. On the other hand, one of the other patrons (obviously a regular) heard us talking about a climbing and joined us for a while in a conversation about that most Boulder of activities.

Hmm, maybe we should go back this weekend and try the Yellowtail.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank wuhsinman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Amu also viewed

 

Been to Amu? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing