Mostly rambles, few brambles
Eating My Feelings
The Cherry Hills Mall reopened last weekend with 230,000 square feet of food, fashion, and family fun and your favorite critic was on hand to sample the refurbished fare.
Sushi Fest #K105. Everything you need and nothing you don’t—Sushi Fest is smart formal executed perfectly. Market-fresh fish is brought in daily for Osaka-trained Chef Danny to sculpt into homespun rolls and flower-petal-like sashimi. Paired with a crisp geometric décor and track lighting, this cozy setting is perfect for couples as well as those who will never again find love. Four stars
P.T. McIdiot’s Grubbery Hole #D213. A hardwood finish dominates this new Irish pub that’s inexplicably already ripe with stains and the charmingly kitsch. Serving up deep-fried everything, my entirely dip-able sampler platter evoked memories of my former life. Frozen nuggets or microwavable corndogs and me, unable to enjoy my own family or stifle my professional instincts and contempt. Two stars.
Park Place Bistro #K117. Soaked in neighborhood charm, this eatery oozes friendliness. It’s a deliberate energy from the signature burgers, to the inventive appetizers, to the crushing amount of smiling families reminding you of what you selfishly neglected. From honey-soy glazed salmon with shallots to chicken fingers, the menu satiates a spectrum of palates and personifies the compromises I regret not making. Half star
Climaxx #L313. A darkened singles’ bar brimming with noise. I don’t want to see the world and the world doesn’t want to see me. They serve small plates, though what I’m hungry for is human touch. I sip a terrible Manhattan. I have no intention of sampling their specialty cocktails, particularly not the “Ketel-One Leg Spreader”. Modern dating is daunting and terrifying; I converse in English while everyone else communicates by grinding together. An old colleague smiles at me from across the bar, a life raft. Two-and-a-half stars
Carlo’s #K124. Candlelight and a single violin highlight this intimate setting blending old-world elegance with contemporary flair. Genuine laughter and cheer gush from me in between bites of the full-bodied wild mushroom risotto as my colleague raves over her panko-crusted chicken picatta. It’s a fantastic place to connect with old, new, or unexpected relationships alike. The house red pairs well with newfound optimism. Four-and-a-half stars
One Night In Bangkok #D203. With only a counter to order at, you wouldn’t take a new flame here, and so we kept walking. It’s Thai food at a mall. How good could it possibly be? I can surmise that it is up to a number of health codes and business standards. Some will enjoy it. Others will get food poisoning. Try it and figure out your own adjectives. Likely over one but definitely less than five stars
Cherry Hills Mall Liquor Store Annex #X100. Inside nothing made me immediately want to vomit. I can recommend their pizza and gin for moments you feel you’ve sunk below rock bottom. Not a place for couples. Conversation discouraged. Sobbing permitted. Sufficient space to try to repress the feeling of her cold wedding ring grazing my cheek in the chilly November air, obliterating any shards of faith I’d harbored for again finding real companionship. Life had once been beautiful, but I’d since been greedy. Ample parking. Three stars
– Join below with just an email address today for free, exclusive ramblings guaranteed never to flood your inbox. Follow Justin on Twitter for puns and topical jokes about balms and creams.