Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar, 1117 Pearl St., Boulder, hapasushi.com
Hawaiian food is so underrated. We say that because it’s so hard to find on the mainland, let alone in the Centennial State. Rumor has it Boulder once had a Hawaiian restaurant, but what good does that do for those of us craving Spam musubi and chicken katsu now? Luckily, one local restaurant has picked up the Hawaiian torch. In addition to its renowned lineup of sushi and noodle dishes, Hapa provides the community with a few Hawaiian staples, and does it very well. The kalua pork is ridiculously tender. With a spicy, chocolaty, almost fermented sauce, it’s heaven. Served alongside buttery steamed vegetables, a flatbread for wrapping, and rice, this is something to seek out. $15.
Tadka Indian Cuisine, 5290 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, tadkaboulder.com
It’s hard to take a staple of any cuisine and make it great. People’s expectations are too high and too married to their past experiences. But Tadka manages to hit all the right notes with its Indian fare. Take the baingan bharta: tandoor-roasted eggplant with chopped tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic. Served atop expertly prepared jasmine rice, it’s a comfort dish that still has a few herb and spice surprises. $13.
Nothing Bundt Cakes, 2710 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, nothingbundtcakes.com
The bundt cake is a sentimental favorite. It’s warm, inviting, rich and dense. But Nothing Bundt Cakes breaks the cake out of its mold, providing fresh takes on the classics. The confetti, dare we say “funfetti,” cake is indulgent. It’s got that birthday-cake sweetness, with a rich, but`tery frosting. An added bonus of Nothing Bundt Cakes is that the size options allow you to indulge to scale. Pick up an afternoon sweet treat or cater a party, why don’t you? $4.49.
Chicken Pesto Sandwich
The Corner, 1100 13th St., Boulder, thecornerboulder.com
If you’re looking for healthy food on the Hill, The Corner is the place to go. Its lineup of sandwiches, salads and more pair fresh ingredients into simple, delicious arrangements. The chicken pesto sandwich is spot-on. The chicken is char-grilled, so you get a little smoke and bitterness. The pesto and caramelized onions create a silky earthiness. The bread is chewy, but sturdy enough to hold up throughout. $11.