I admit it, I am a sucker for a good deal. I get notifications from Groupon, Living Social, Google, etc, and more often than not, I don’t snag the offers. Most of the coupons are for places way far away, for activities I am not interested in (please please PLEASE stop sending me yoga coupons!) or for items I don’t need. Since Rando is quite the cook, eating out isn’t high on my agenda either, though after reading the menu for TAG RAW BAR in Larimer Square, I broke down and got not just one Living Social coupon, but a second one as a birthday gift for a friend.
Due to timing, schedules, and the like, I just couldn’t get the schedule right for a few of us to meet up at TAG. Once we did all agree we could go, unfortunately, it was a Monday and TAG was closed, so we had to find another option (gee darn, we ended up at Sushi Den, the horror, the horror *Note: insert massive sarcasm here*). With only a few days left to use my coupon, I snagged my sister and we decided to go on a Saturday afternoon. But again, I blew the timing and they were closed. So we tried once more that Saturday night, but with nearly an hour wait for a table, that wasn’t going to work either.
This was now a serious game of TAG, and I was it, and getting nowhere.
Extremely frustrated at this point, but now determined to use my coupon and find out if this place is worth 4 attempts, my sis and I rescheduled and met up last night at TAG. Though it was much more subdued than our Saturday night visit, the place was still quite busy, and a good portion of the customers were regulars. We picked out a couple of stools at the bar, which is pretty much their full kitchen. If there was one word to describe their outfit, it would be EFFICIENT!! These guys have it DOWN. Everything is within reach, with a good amount of working space for such a small kitchen, and very neat and tidy. It was an extra treat to be able to watch them prepare the meals not just for us, but the other customers as well.
My sister developed an allergy to soy in the past few years, which has made it more difficult to go places and enjoy sushi, Asian, and the like. While perusing the menu, we were again having a hard time finding her something to enjoy that didn’t have soy in it. Shaun (one of the main chefs at TAG) overheard us discussing what to do, and immediately offered to substitute ingredients for the soy, or just leave the soy out so she could enjoy much of the menu. Being an oyster nut myself, I had to try a couple of their oysters on the half shell, which were delectable with a light islandy salsa as a garnish. Sis and I ended up splitting a SAKE 2ME roll and a CALFORNIA-CATION roll, both of which were refreshingly unique. The Cali roll was probably the best I have ever had, and that means it even trumped the amazing sushi Randy & I shared in SF. It wasn’t loaded down with tons of mayo, sauce, etc, the crab was über fresh, and the rice was perfect. There was a hint of some citrus and fruityness to the roll which made it seem more summery than heavy. The Sake roll was also full of flavor and surprises, layered with salmon over shiso, cucumber, and avocado. (They left out the miso so sis wouldn’t have an allergic reaction) As an appetizer, we were served thick pieces of seaweed, fried in a sesame oil with garnish until they were crispy like crackers, and a variation of caramelized popcorn…which wasn’t popcorn and only resembled carmel in color, for it had just a hint of sweet without being overpowering. I could have eaten that by the basket!
Gerard, their cocktail magician, was terribly disappointed that he couldn’t perform his libation magic show for us, because we both needed to drive home. But man o man, were the cocktails beautiful! An, I am sure, VERY VERY TASTY!! The Seasonal Mojito with lychee juice, pomegranate, lime and rhubarb dry soda was AMAZING to look at, and fun to watch him make!
During the course of our meal, the guys were a treat to interact with. You can tell they are serious about their food, but they were also very entertaining and full of wit and banter, making it difficult to choose between laughing and eating! We were so impressed with our selections, we also tried the cucumber salad, which again was so full of flavor for such a simple dish, I am not sure how they did it!
I didn’t get any pictures to show you, which was a travesty on my part, because the presentation of all the items was impressive as well. We felt as though we were being served edible art, it was almost a shame to eat it, but IT IS OH SO GOOD!!!!
So, if you are looking to get filled up without filling out, and you want to have a great meal without breaking the bank, TAG is the place! There are oodles of options in the 16th Street Mall and by Writer’s & Larimer Square, but this one will leave you smiling all around! Coupon or not, I’ll be back!
I almost forgot…they are expanding, so soon they’ll have 34 more seats to offer, too!
1423 Larimer Street | Suite 010 | 303.996.2685
Hours: CLOSED SUN & MON | TUES–THURS: 11:30AM–9PM
FRI: 11:30AM–10PM | SAT: 5PM–10PM | NO RESERVATIONS