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2004 In Review

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From a culinary standpoint at least, 2004 was a terrific year. Although there were a few disappointments. I was sad to see the closing of restaurants like Au Bon Appetit, Dijon, Kenji’s, the Sage Grill, Wasabi Sushi, and Absolute, just to name a few.

But there were also some wonderful new restaurants to come along in the past year to help take up the slack. And it seemed like Asian cuisine was the biggest food trend in 2004, which saw the opening of great Japanese and Thai restaurants in particular.

Up in Park City, Shabu made a tremendous splash with both locals and tourists with their innovative “free-style” Asian fare, as they call it. And indulging in the Shabu-Shabu style dining at Shabu is tons of fun. Meanwhile, in Murray Yamasaki opened to the delight of Japanese food lovers in that part of town, a restaurant located in a beautiful old house with a gorgeous garden surrounding it.

And out in Sandy I welcomed the opening of Taste of Punjab in 2004, with their scrumptious butter chicken and other Northern Indian specialties.

I recently reported on Thai Garden on 900 East, which I and a lot of KSL listeners who contacted me think is the best Thai food to come to Utah in a long time. And I’ve also enjoyed many a good meal of eclectic California-style cuisine at Citris Grill on 33rd South in East Millcreek.

But to me, the best restaurant addition to the Wasatch Front in 2004 was Takashi, located on Market Street in downtown Salt Lake. Takashi Gibo is a master sushi chef but he and his kitchen staff also prepare wonderful cooked dishes and I’ve never had a meal at Takashi that wasn’t absolutely mind-blowing. It’s that good.

Well, here’s wishing you a happy New Year full of happy eating in 2005.

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