Some like it raw
It would be an understatement to say that sushi has become a staple in the Aspen diet. With three world-renowned Japanese restaurants downtown, fresh fish flown in daily from both coasts, and an insatiable appetite for raw fare among residents and tourists alike, Aspen is a hotbed of haute cuisine.
So when Kenichi advertised a locals’ party last Wednesday featuring 2-for-1 items ranging from sake to sushi, more than a few took notice.
“I had about four messages from friends today inviting me out for sushi tonight, so I knew something was up,” said Kim Natalini of CB Paws.
With a full house inside, patio tables filled to the brim outside, and a wait list three pages deep at 8 p.m., the prospects looked grim for those in search of immediate seating.
“I’m OK,” said landscape architect Kate Kennen. “I only planned to hang out here and have a few drinks anyway.”
“The entire town is here,” proclaimed FedEx delivery guy Joe Little as he and his friends awaited their table. “I’m surprised the local bears haven’t shown up yet.”
Seizing an opportunity to reach the voters, pass out stickers and kiss any babies, Aspen City Council candidate Torre made an appearance with his campaign treasurer, Susan Muenchen. “Remember to vote on Tuesday, June third,” he reminded diners who wished him well in the upcoming election.
Celebrating his 33rd birthday, Chris Carmichael cruised into the bar area with a band of friends.
Aspen Magazine Editor Jamie Miller was also out for one of her last sushi experiences in town, as she will be moving to Washington, D.C., later this month.
“Let’s not talk about it,” said a sad Sari Tuschman of her dear friend’s impending departure.
“The locals came out hard tonight,” said a double-fisted Amanda Schell.
As the crowds circled the scene, the staff handled the stress with good service.
“I believe my arms are paralyzed,” joked waitress Louise Brennan as she served a final tray of sushi. “If the management decides to have another one of these nights next week, I think I might quit.”
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A recent survey of Aspen residents shows that people are happy here, feel safe but are financially insecure.