All of the Delicious Things You Should Eat at Mister Tuna Right Now

Troy Guard’s three-year-old RiNo restaurant has a new approach—and lunch!—led by chef Tristen Epps.

BY CALLIE SUMLIN | MAY 7, 2019

When Mister Tuna opened in 2016, the moniker—love it or hate it—got people talking. You see, “Mister Tuna” is chef/owner Troy Guard’s father’s nickname, and the hip RiNo eatery was loosely inspired by the casual outdoor cooking of Guard’s Hawaiian upbringing.

That name also confused some diners, who walked in off of Brighton Boulevard expecting a sushi restaurant, but instead found a New American menu with Hawaiian influences. That issue needed solving, so when chef Tristen Epps took the reins as executive chef last year, the team decided to completely reimagine the menu. The result, which rolled out late last month, is now more global, more shareable, and more small-plate oriented. (And yes, the new menu does include a sashimi option or two.)

For daytime diners, Mister Tuna also rolled out a new lunch service as of April 30. The simple, meat-and-three-style menu features the likes of Kona coffee-brined kalua pig and lentil faux’lafel, plus sides like grilled carrots and Hawaiian-style macaroni salad. You order at the counter, and pay $13.50 for a main dish, two sides, and an agua fresca or lemonade.

Here are a few of the new dishes you’ll find when you check out Mister Tuna 2.0:

Mister Tuna’s daily charcuterie plate comes with Elevation Charcuterie & Artisan Meats’ coppa, plus house-made lonza and speck. It’s a must-order for the olives and crunchy sunchoke pickles alone, but we also think chef Epps should consider bottling and selling his fermented mustard sauce (bottom left).
The Mister Tuna hummus plate has three “gigante bean textures”: There’s the smooth bean dip, a bean salad, and crispy gigante shards on top. Seasoned with za’atar, Aleppo and Urfa peppers, and scooped up with house-made roti, it’s a super-satisfying starter.
New to the Mister Tuna menu is the “Tuna Tribute” section, which is like a choose-your-own-adventure of tuna tapas priced at $8 each. Pictured here, from left to right: The tuna tataki with rhubarb, buttermilk, vanilla bean, and sweet peas; tuna poke with avocado, seaweed, quinoa, and sweet onion dresssing; albacore sashimi; yellowfin sashimi.
Epps’ vegan pad thai features crunchy kelp noodles, tamarind dressing, peanuts, and lots of fresh herbs.
Mister Tuna
Mister Tuna’s grilled octopus comes with fava beans, pickled green strawberries, and squiggles of black barbecue sauce that gets its distinctive color from squid ink.
Local Buckner Family Farm lamb ribs are lacquered in a red curry sweet and sour sauce and served atop creamy broken rice congee.

If you go: Mister Tuna is open for lunch Tues-Fri, 11:15 a.m.-2:15 p.m, and for dinner Tues-Fri at 4 p.m. Dinner on Friday starts at 5 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday.

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