Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sushi, Sake & Psychedelics

No, we were not doing acid with our sushi. We were at the Denver Art Museum
for The Psychedelic Experience: Rock Posters from the San Francisco Bay Area, 1965 - 71. It's showing through July 19, and if you have the chance, you should go and see it, especially if you were alive in the sixties. I was born in the mid-sixties, so my memory of the original posters is limited. Although, there was one that I am sure I saw regularly throughout my childhood, but just can't remember where. Doubtful that it was at our house; my parents were definitely not hippies. Was it at my hippie uncle's house? At our summer house in Montauk? Anyway, it, and all the others and the stories that went along with them were simply far-out! Each artist had a different style and the styles changed over the years. What these artists all had in common was lifestyle - life in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, LSD, and music. The posters advertised concerts, many at the Filmore East, for bands such as Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Buffalo Springfield, Big Brother and the Holding Company and more - even Sha Na Na. The Museum did a wonderful job of combining art, music and story from the time period epitomized by the summer of love. My only complaint was that although the show was put together somewhat chronologically, there were no signs or directions to help the observer take it all in in chronological order.

After 90 minutes of trippy posters, we headed to Izakaya Den in Denver for some sushi, sake and Japanese-influenced small plates. This beautiful restaurant, modeled after the sake houses of Japan, is a culinary delight. Along with delicious sashimi dishes, the chefs dish out a variety of fabulous small plates, such as Pomegranate Braised Bison Short Rib with Crispy Fig Polenta,
Lemongrass Vichyssoise and Duck Confit on Crispy Wontons Served Over Forbidden Rice.
Although the wine list is rather small, the sake list is extensive. It assigns a number on the sweetness scale to each sake, -20 being the sweetest to +10 for the driest. We ordered the Otokoyama, Hokkaido, +10. It was excellent, but I realized that although I like my sake to be relatively dry, I do like a touch of sweetness. I think that a tiny bit of sweetness in sake has the same effect as salt on food. It wakes it up, gives it a little zing. The completely dry sake is, to me, just a touch flat.

It was a great evening - fabulous food and drink, great company, and LSD influenced posters. What's not to love?

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