Opened in part to keep visiting New Yorkers and Los Angelenos from feeling as if they've traveled too far from home, the Colorado outpost of Chef Nobu Matushisa's art-like sushi is as popular as its coastal counterparts. Not many concessions were given to the fact that the restaurant is located in a mountain town—the sleek, ultra-modern design could be anywhere in Urbania—but that doesn't seem to bother the masses, who make reservations nearly impossible to score in the winter high season. And no, you don't have to order the signature the miso-coated black cod, but why wouldn't you?
Tip: The sushi bar serves anything on the menu on a first-come/first-served basis.
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From the From the May 2008 Food & Wine Go List
Locals and Japanese tourists alike crowd this Waikiki offshoot of the famed Tokyo soba shrine for the nutty, al dente noodles. The restaurant grinds its own buckwheat flour and produces its soba behind a glass-partitioned bay on one side of the sleek dining room.
We loved: soba (cold noodles with a bowl of duck-studded soup).
Insider tip: The bar in the Matbaren area often has seats when the rest of the restaurant is booked.