Family Night Boulder Pearl Street Mall Adventures

Let’s Go To Dinner

My son called yesterday, seeking a small break from college. He lives up in Fort Collins and wanted to see us.  Great.  How about dinner.  He had some requests – some favorite spots on the Boulder Pearl Street Mall and that sounded ideal to my wife and I.

So, we jumped into our trusty if horrendously boring Toyota (good for real estate and safety) and headed to Boulder.  It’s about a twenty minute drive from our home in Lafayette to Boulder.  Driving in the early evening the views are amazing.   The colors and shadows are intense from the sun peaking over the Colorado Rockies.   There is a good sized hill to descend between Louisville and the edge of Boulder.  Grand views of the Boulder Flatirons.  The mountains are a beautiful backdrop.

The drive to the Boulder Pearl Street Mall, we discussed dinner. We have no reservation, but I’m confident we can get seated just about anywhere. So, where to go?  My wife wants to try Shine (LOL, the one place we will need a reservation). Its the newest dining idea from a trio of sisters.  The menu is completely gluten and dairy free.   I voted for The Med, a boisterous lively Spanish infused Tapas bistro.   Bear (my son’s nickname) really wants the one thing not in the budget of a college student: sushi.

Sushi On The Boulder Pearl Street Mall

The Boulder Pearl Street Mall is a haven for sushi hot spots.  There is Hapa Sushi, Sushi Zanmai (Karaoke on some nights), Sushi Tora and Japango, just to name a few.

We select Japango with its modern look and take on sushi.  There are a handful of tables outside, an electrifying bar with cool neon lighting, couch seating for the younger generation and tables of various heights and shapes.  At 6:30 on a Saturday evening, the place is hopping.  Once seated, my son immediately comments on the jelly fish tank in the center of restaurant!

Our waitress is great. I wish I could remember her name – authentic sounding.  She brings us the customary hot hand towels and takes our drink order.  We are rather easy: my wife & I are drinking water, so our table gets a big stylish self serve glass bottle. My son opts for Diet Soda and proceeds to drink at least ten. Refills are free and the waitress is constantly getting Bear a new drink.  Don’t worry – we make up for the drinks by ordering a fabulous array of sushi and rolls.

boulder japango jellyfish
Japango features a gorgeous eye-catching jellyfish tank in the center of the dining room.

Central to any sushi experience is great seafood.  The quality and freshness at Japango are excellent.  We have a handful of sushi pieces: the Hamachi, Saba and Kaibashira are standouts.  We also try a couple of hot tapas plates.  The Magic Mushrooms are actually mushroom free. And turn out to be my wife’s favorite. While my son and I are discussing which of us should get the 4th delicious bite, my wife extends her chopsticks and claims it for herself.  She is getting better with those chop sticks!

For rolls, we try several.  El Corazon is a one-of-a-kind at this Boulder Pearl Street sushi bar.   The base is a tempura rice cake topped with avocado and spicy tuna plus jalapeño, smelt roe and asweet soy sauce.  More traditional in style is the Chicago Roll.  This gangster is shrimp tempura, burdock root, green leaf, asparagus, avocado & Japanese mayonnaise.

All in all, Japango is an excellent Boulder sushi bar and restaurant.  We even have dessert when tempted with a menu beyond the usual green tea ice cream you find in most places. Here we are served a warm chocolate cake, drizzled in caramel with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream.  It is delicious and reminds all three of us a similar dessert on Grand Cayman years ago.  That’s the best, when you are out with your family having fun and have grand memories of another fantastic evening.

Hanging On The Boulder Pearl Street Mall

relocating boulder colorado must see pearl street mall
The Boulder Pearl Street Mall is vibrant with entertainment, great food and shopping.

After dinner, we decide to get some exercise by walking into shops and trying on clothes.   Okay, maybe this isn’t too athletic for Boulder with its reputation for rock climbing, mountain biking, etc.  But it is a lot of fun. So we visit American Apparel where my son gets an outfit and I’m reminded I’m getting older.  Seriously, young people’s fashion is really different than I realize.   Well, we also found a great dress for my granddaughter.

Then we stepped into the Flip Flops shop.  Great selection with a wide variety of brands. This is not the biggest shop, but great staff, brightly lit, very clean floors (which is key when trying on sandals).  My wife found a new pair for the summer.  We also visited Billabong.  It’s just fun hanging out on the mall.

rob larsen photograph of boulder pearl street mall
Children’s play area on the Boulder Pearl Street Mall; photo courtesy of Rob Larsen.

There are so many people.  Buskers are at most intersections entertaining crowds.  Families relaxing.   Little kids love playing on the sculptures, rock play ground and myriad water fountains.   You see the occasional gruff homeless guy panhandling, and in summers the Rainbow Family will pass through town.  On our evening walking about the Boulder Pearl Street Mall, its mostly college aged young people enjoying themselves along with a healthy dose of families.

There are other favorite shops nearby: The Boulder Bookstore, The Peppercorn (amazing cookware store!), a variety of ice cream shops, countless coffee shops, Weekends and the list goes on and on.  The Boulder Pearl Street Mall is several blocks long, all pedestrian.   And surrounding the mall in several directions are more great eateries and shopping, bars and nightlife.  There is really something for everyone along the Boulder Pearl Street Mall.  We even pass by the very discreet entrance to Nitro, a controversial addition to downtown Boulder.

Related Blogs And Pages:

My Blog on Japango
Homes For Sale near the Boulder Pearl Street Mall
St Julien Hotel and SPA is at west end of mall
Ozo Downtown (coffee shop)
Laughing Goat  (coffee shop)
Boulder Relocation Blog
#BotJoy – just off the mall in civic area



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