Littleton’s newest sushi den brings unique Japanese kitchen items to the otherwise conventional sushi scene. Makizushico opened its doors on December 8, sporting an intimate menu and inviting ambiance. This new sushi restaurant is the ninth concept following popular staples like Go Fish Sushi, Kung Fu Tea, The Bronze Empire and Poke Concept from the One Concept Restaurant Group.
Although this new restaurant is still testing out the waters, the Zen-like atmosphere welcomes diners in a soothing way that is lacking in similar sushi restaurants. The light bamboo used from floor to ceiling surrounds your senses like the warm hug you get after walking into a sauna‑ without all the sweaty gymgoers. The space is filled with minimalistic wood furniture and subdued lighting. While the menu takes on traditional Japanese hot and cold tapas, the modern space blares soul music from the likes of Ray Charles —really giving this dining experience some old school attitude.
The name Makizushico comes from the combination of two essential words in Japanese sushi culture. While pieces of the name roughly translate to sushi roll — maki meaning roll and zushi meaning sushi, the menu steers clear of typical sushi rolls like the California roll or Alaskan roll. Rather than focusing on stacking the menu with cream cheese and avocado filled rolls, the chefs at Makizushico chose to focus on highlighting the natural flavors of the fresh fish. Each sushi plate only incorporates garnishes or sauces that will enhance the flavor of the fish.
The raw sushi options on the menu include nigiri, sashimi and temaki — a cone shaped hand roll stuffed with a handful of steamed white rice, fresh fish and fresh vegetables. When indecisiveness takes over, the sushi bar also offers Omakase. The rough translation of the word means to trust yourself with the chef. So naturally, when ordering the Omakase you are trusting your whole meal in the hands of the sushi chef. After a few formalities like fish preference and flavor profile, a raw sushi menu is handcrafted to your liking.
It takes a lot of serious sushi experience to handle omakase, that’s why the head sushi chef at Makizushico has roughly 15 years of experience showcasing the art of sushi in both Denver and New York. Attention to the freshness of the fish is of upmost importance here, which is why the fish is prepared daily and sourced every day of the week aside from Sunday.
While raw sushi is a required taste, this neighborhood restaurant offers some hot kitchen items inspired by both Japanese and Chinese culture. Pork belly buns, Wagyu tapas, miso black cod and the chawanmushi all elevate this limited menu to a finer dining experience.
The Chawanmushi is one of Makizushico’s many unique hot tapas. This egg dish is traditionally found in Japan — it has a similar texture to custard with a savory profile. The egg dish has a mild flavor topped with warmed sweet snow crab. It’s the jelly-like texture that makes this dish both fun to eat and easy to devour on a cold winter day.
Another dish that takes comfort food to a new level is the Uni Udon. The slippery udon noodles are tossed in a sea urchin sauce topped with fresh and sweet uni. The combination of the sea urchin sauce and fresh uni provide a salty and sweet creaminess to the tender noodles without overwhelming the dish.
The controlled menu may be new but there are plans to add and create seasonal dishes in the future. Makizushico has worked hard to craft a comfortable space to enjoy curated dishes with flares of Japanese style hot and cool tapas and fresh sushi.
Makizushico is located on 5950 S. Platte Canyon Rd. Unit D22, Littleton. It is open Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 11, Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m.
All Photography By Juneau Wong