4 Replies to “Izakaya Amu – Restaurants, Boulder”

  1. Unexpected gem in downtown Boulder. Each dish is unique and shows the originality of the chef. Price is surprisingly good too.

  2. Without a doubt, this is my favorite Japanese restaurant in the U.S. Having been raised by a Japanese mom, I grew up enjoying great Japanese food. I’ve lived in Japan and traveled there quite a bit over the years, and Izakaya is my favorite type of restaurant/food. Amu nails it! The food is consistently great, the sake choices abound, and the service is as friendly as it is entertaining when sitting at the counter. We always order at least a couple of items off of the specials menu, and they never fail to disappoint. Oh, and their sister restaurant next door, Zanmai, has excellent sushi! So, go to Amu for Izakaya and to Zanmai for sushi.

  3. This place is amazing. Be prepared to remove your shoes. The place is very small so large parties are basically impossible, but call and they’ll tell you what they can do.
    The eggplant dish, soft shell crab, and sashimi is a great place to start if you’re lost. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

  4. My wife was born and raised in Japan. I have lived in Japan for more than a decade in total. We are gainfully employed and have been fortunate to enjoy some of the finest Japanese food in the world. We were excited to find Amu when we relocated to Boulder.

    We enjoyed the cuisine from chef Yuki-san, and the service and camaraderie from manager Jeff was also nice. We ordered a large bottle of saké and other drinks, and ordered a good deal of food. We poured them drinks from our bottle and had a nice time. The bill came to more than $200. This would have been perfectly fine by us, but…

    The problem was the waiter that was serving us and working behind the counter. We cannot recall his name, but his hair was dyed red. He was overbearing with wanting to take our dishes and glasses before we were finished eating and drinking, and seemed to insist that we keep drinking from the large bottle of saké we ordered. He is a Japanese speaker and spoke in the language with us, but his understanding of polite/honorific terms is little at best and therefore came across as excruciatingly rude. Because we felt rushed and somewhat offended, we wanted to make a statement by leaving a tip of less than 20%.

    As my wife was paying the bill and I was putting on my shoes, he informed her that we hadn’t paid enough for tip, that, “this won’t do.” He told her the industry standard is 20% or more in an establishment such as this one, and that if we wanted to come back and be treated well, we would have to pay more. This is when I entered the conversation and told him he was out of line. I dropped it there and asked to speak with the manager outside.

    We were simply flabbergasted and, though the manager promised that this wouldn’t happen again and pleaded with us to try to forget the incident and return for another meal, we haven’t been able to. We’ve seen other reviews about Amu’s aggressive waitstaff when it comes to tips and this is terribly unfortunate. What it comes down to is this: even if the food, drinks, and experience are good, it can all be ruined by one person at the end of the evening.

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