CultureFood

High Rollers

The inexorable rise of mountain-town sushi

A recent New York Times study of mercury in tuna showed... ah, whatever. Raw fish still delivers a low-cholesterol, high-protein energy kick. And thanks to FedEx, and the ongoing influx of tourist dollars into mountain towns, sushi has replaced stuffed pizza as the high-altitude dinner of choice.

Sushi Restaurants in Mountain Towns

A fried shrimp roll

1. Blu-Kitchen
JACKSON, WYOMING
The fourth hit restaurant in a decade fromformer Park City chef Jarrett Schwartz. His menu for Blu, which opened last September, has cooked shareable nibbles like pan-seared red deer competing for attention with the raw fare. ORDER: Truffled tuna with ponzu. AVOID: The front half of the restaurant, which isn't as intimate as the cavelike rear. 307-734-1633

2. Sushi Rei
MAMMOTH LAKES, CALIFORNIA
What you'd expect of a raw bar run by snowboarders: $5 handroll-and-PBR happy hours, ladies'-night specials, and Little Tokyo meets X Games decor. But don't be put off by the party vibe. Chef Jaison LeRoy is as fanatical about fish as he is powder. ORDER: Fried snow-crab-and-eel-stuffed Saigon Bombs. AVOID: Periodic DJ-backed dance parties. 760-924-8140

3. The Matterhorn
STOWE, VERMONT
Yes, the best fish in Stowe is found at a honky-tonk pizza joint. The Matterhorn's wet-T-shirt contests may be history, but itinerant Japanese snowboarding chef Baba's selection has picked up the slack. ORDER: The Viagra Roll (shrimp tempura, crab stick, avocado, eel, flying fish roe). AVOID: Insulting Baba, who insults back. matterhornbar.com

4. Matsuhisa
ASPEN, COLORADO
The original high-end sushi joint in the most excessive mountain town, Matsu' is one of celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa's 21 worldwide locations. Which is to say it's an overpriced chain. ORDER: $10 California roll AVOID: Goldie Hawn. matsuhisaaspen.com

5. Honga's Lotus Petal
TELLURIDE, COLORADO
Honga's has remained Telluride's most popular locals' spot for nearly two decades. Chef/owner (and tele-skier extraordinaire) Honga Im Hopgood's extensive menu of nigiri and maki features a dozen types of fish. ORDER: The inside-out Kantmakem Roll, with jalapeño and tuna. AVOID: That second deceptively potent mojito. hongaslotuspetal.com

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Culinary
More Culture