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.

May Chef Showdown

Thursday, May 16th
Chef Showdown: 10pm-Midnight
$10 online advance / $12 day of – ticket includes social hour bites / cash bar
$1 from every Chef Showdown ticket sold benefits We Don’t Waste

Chef Paul C Reilly of beast + bottle vs. Chef Anna Walter of Super Mega Bien! Let the showdown begin…

Sponsored by Casamigos, Seattle Fish Company, Carbon Knife Co, Finkel & Garf Brewing Co. and Rebel Farm.

If you haven’t joined us for an epic showdown, here’s how it works: Our competing Chefs are given three surprise ingredients and 30 minutes to WOW our panel of judges, with whatever means necessary. The winner is knighted with a custom Chef Showdown blade from Carbon Knife Co. No rules, just a winner, and lots of fun. Come early to enjoy social apps. The competition begins at 10:30.

APRIL CHEF SHOWDOWN

Thursday, April 18th
Game of Thrones Inspired Chef Showdown: 10pm-Midnight
$1 from every Chef Showdown ticket sold benefits We Don’t Waste
$1 from every Woodford Reserve cocktail benefits the Food Bank of the Rockies!
Sponsored by Golden Moon Distillery, Seattle Fish Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Carbon Knife Co, and Rebel Farm.

Chef Brad Yard of Guard and Grace represents Team TRG as he goes head to head against Chef Ryan Rau of Urban Farmer Denver.

If you haven’t joined us for an epic showdown, here’s how it works: Our competing Chefs are given three surprise ingredients and 30 minutes to WOW our panel of judges, with whatever means necessary. The winner is knighted with a custom Chef Showdown blade from Carbon Knife Co. No rules, just a winner, and lots of fun. Come early to enjoy social apps. The competition begins at 10:30.

3/19 Chef Showdown

Tuesday, March 19th

Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience: 7pm

Chef Showdown: 10pm-Midnight

$1 from every Chef Showdown ticket sold benefits We Don’t Waste. $1 from every Woodford Reserve cocktail benefits the Food Bank of the Rockies! Sponsored by Woodford Reserve, Seattle Fish Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Carbon Knife Co, and Rebel Farm.

Kick off the evening watching your favorite bartender’s compete in Woodford Reserve’s 2019 #ManhattanExperience. After the drink battle? Stay for a food battle! 

Thursday, 2/21 | Sake Dinner and Chef Showdown

Thursday, February 21st
Sake Dinner: 7pm | Chef Showdown: 10pm-Midnight
$1 from every Chef Showdown ticket sold benefits We Don’t Waste
Sponsored by Colorado Sake Co.10 Barrel Brewing CompanySeattle Fish CompanyRebel Farm, and Carbon Knife Co

Your favorite Thursday night festivities are bigger and better! Kick off the evening with a 5 course, $75 Sake experience courtesy of our friends at Colorado Sake Co. After dinner? Stay for the best late night event in Denver. Chef Adam Vero of Hearth & Dram returns to his old stomping grounds to go head to head against Chef Chad Craybill from Uchi Denver.

If you haven’t joined us for an epic showdown, here’s how it works: Our competing Chefs are given three surprise ingredients and 30 minutes to WOW our panel of judges, with whatever means necessary. The winner is knighted with a custom Chef Showdown blade from Carbon Knife Co. No rules, just a winner, and lots of fun. Come early to enjoy social apps. The competition begins at 10:30.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

Valentine’s Day 2019

Just like your love, the options for Valentine’s Day dining at Mister Tuna are endless.

5 Course, Choose Your Own Adventure Menu | $79
Optional Beverage Pairings | $40

Afraid of commitment? Order à la carte.

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