Matsuhisa Denver

Matsuhis-HA HA HA HA HA. Don’t go here.

But seriously don’t go here lol.

Ross and I chose to dine at Matsuhisa Denver to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is a well renowned chef so I expected much more from his restaurant. Needless to say, it was a total letdown.

When dining at an expensive restaurant such as Matsuhisa Denver, I expect exceptional service. When dining at an expensive restaurant for a celebration, I expect above and beyond exceptional service. Why? We chose your restaurant to celebrate! That should mean something to a restaurant’s staff; if it doesn’t, we certainly won’t be returning.

Upon our arrival at the restaurant, our host led us to a window table by the sushi bar that was set for four (booth/table style).

I was not pleased with the table selection so asked our back waiter (the waiter who refills the waters and clears finished plates) if we could by chance move to a smaller, more private table, that was open in the corner. I was met with a snotty response:

“Re-ally? That table is right behind the host stand. It’s SO loud.”

THEN he just stared at Ross and I…..

Feeling incredibly awkward, I told the back waiter that the table we were at was fine (it was NOT fine). He filled our waters and went on his way.

Servers, if someone ever inquiries about a different table, they are not fine with where they are sitting! #DER. Up your customer service game and make sure your customers are comfortable! Especially if the restaurant isn’t packed and you can accommodate their request. The back waiter at Matsuhisa could have cared less if we were comfortable or not. I honestly just think he and the hostesses wanted to keep that area free of customers so they could continue having inappropriate conversations among themselves.

This was just the beginning of the horrible customer service Matsuhisa Denver has to offer.

Soon, our main waitress came over and wished us an unenthusiastic “Happy Anniversary”. This was the only engaging comment we received from her the entire night.

An example of above and beyond exceptional service for a celebration? The Capital Grille in downtown Denver in Larimer Square. Ross and I dined at The Capital Grille a year back for our 6th year anniversary together. Not only did they seat us at a more private table without being prompted to do so, they also left a personalized Happy Anniversary card at the table and then brought out a complimentary “Happy Anniversary” dessert at the end of our meal. Now THAT is exceptional service.

The food Matsuhisa offers is good but it is not worth the HEFTY price tag. When I say hefty people, Ross and I dropped over $600 here and we were not impressed. If you drop that much on a meal between two people and leave not thinking it was one of the greatest meals you’ve ever had, the restaurant is doing something drastically wrong.

If you’re looking for a great sushi spot in Denver, Sushi Den, Izakaya Den, and Mizu Izakaya Denver surpass Matsuhisa in several different verticals. All three manage to have lower prices, larger portions and far superior service when compared to Matsuhisa.

To start off our meal, we ordered the Spicy Tuna, Crispy Rice ($16), the Shishito Peppers ($8), Oysters, Nobu salsas ($18), and the Bincho (albacore) Sashimi in white summer truffle sauce ($9/2 pc).

The Spicy Tuna, Crispy Rice was an interesting take on a spicy tuna appetizer; I liked the presentation. However, the tuna was bland and unless you soaked the crispy rice cubes in the miso sauce there wasn’t much flavor.


The Shishito Peppers were very tasty and were Ross’ favorite dish out of everything we tried (not a good sign for a sushi restaurant). Now I love Shishito peppers as much as the next gal, but if you leave a high end restaurant and the Shishito peppers were the best thing you had…that’s just pathetic lol.


The Oysters, Nobu salsas were good but for three V small oysters, were they worth the $18 price tag? Absolutely not.


The six pieces of Bincho sashimi were great and were my favorite. The sashimi legit melted in your mouth just how it should. 


I had forgotten which sashimi we had ordered halfway through eating it so I asked our waitress to explain what sashimi it was again because I liked it so much. Our waitress begrudgingly repeated herself.

Irritable & rude waitress, Party of 1!

Throughout the meal, Ross and I had two bottles of Matsuhisa’s Private Selection Chardonnay from Sonoma County. The wine was good but it would have gone down better with decent service & decent food.

For our entrees, we ordered the Black Cod, sweet miso ($29), the 4oz of the Himalayan Salt Rock Wagyu Beef ($15/piece), the Tiradito Roll (not on the menu and recommended by our waitress), and the Toro Aburi Nigiri (market price, aka V pricey).

The Black Cod, sweet miso is one of Chef Nobu’s signature dishes so I was expecting this entrée to be spectacular. It was good, but not spectacular. The Cod is marinated in miso soup so had amazing flavor but my issue with this entrée was that it was delivered to our table luke warm, almost cold really. If the dish would have come to us hot, it hands down would have been my favorite.


The Himalayan Salt Rock Wagyu Beef was a total let down; yuck, yuck, yuck! This dish comes to you with the raw wagyu beef and a hot himalyan salt rock on coals to cook your meat. Our waitress did a horrible job of explaining how we should cook our beef which left us experimenting with each piece ($15 bucks/piece down the drain with each mess up).


You want a good cut of Wagyu? Go to Edddie Merlot’s. Worth the price and it comes to you cooked! STK’s Lil’ Brgs made with wagyu beef are also phenomenal.

The Tiradito Roll our waitress recommended was mediocre at best. It was bland and I had to ask for spicy mayo to dip it in. The Toro Aburi Nigiri (seared tuna belly) was NOT good. It was gummy & chewy and was certainly not worth the price. This was my least favorite item we tried.


At this point; both Ross and I were unsatisfied with the meal and still hungry, so we asked the back waiter to see the menu so we could order a couple more small plates.

After I had looked at the menu for a couple of minutes, the back waiter returned to our table and in the rudest tone asked:

“Do you want MORE food?”

Like no sh*t Sherlock. YES, we want MOOOOORE food. 


That’s why we asked for another menu!

We ordered the following to finish up our meal: another round of Shishito Peppers (all Ross really liked so far, $8), two pieces of Hamachi Nigiri ($9), and Avocado Tempura ($4).

The Hamachi (yellowtail) Nigiri was good but nothing special compared to Hamachi I've had at other sushi spots in Denver. The Avocado Tempura was standard. Nothing to rave about but nothing to complain about (gosh can you imagine if they had messed up tempura?!).


This concluded our horrible dining experience at Matsuhisa. There was no parting "Happy Anniversary" or anything that could have left us wanting to go back.

Warning, sappy comment ahead - The only enjoyable thing about Matsuhisa Denver was getting to spend the evening with my amazing husband & making fun of this ridiculous restaurant lol. My advice to you is that if you ever have to dine at a restaurant with bad service and mediocre food, at least do it in good company!

See ya never Matsuhisa, #seeyanever