Chef Dustin Brafford jumped on board the sushi burrito train as soon as he heard owner Alonzo Martinez's ideas. From the collaboration came Komotodo, one of LoDo's newest and busiest restaurants. Opening on Halloween day, the eatery has had lines out the door at lunchtime since.
"People come in and they say, 'Wow. What the hell is this?'" explains Brafford. But that's exactly what they wanted: to be different. No item gets the question more than the El Frito Suave, a fried rendition of the sushi burrito.
Like the rest of the menu items, it starts with a sheet of nori which acts as the tortilla. "And this is the magic behind all we do," Brafford says, pointing to the Maki Master, which presses a perfect layer of rice onto the nori sheet.
After the rice is pressed, the burrito gets assembled. In El Frito's case, it's carrots, cucumbers, asparagus, Philadelphia cream cheese, and salmon. The assembly is finished with Komotodo's peanut sauce and rolled tight. This is where this burrito veers left to make it so popular. Dipped in flour, and egg wash, and a crunchy concoction, it's dunked into the fryer until golden.
The warm and crispy shell perfectly balance the fresh and cold taste of the veggies and salmon on the inside. The wasabi guacamole on the side should be mandatory as this is the other staple not to be missed.
"This is the kind of dish that is 'Insta-ready.' People want their friends to see they've eaten this. It's the weirdest and most unconventional item on the menu, definitely."
And it is a perfect reflection of both owner and chef, pushing the envelope and helping people see possibilities. "We're pretty playful people. We want to break boundaries, while still accommodating everyone and feeding people good food."