Typically, when you think of “stoner food” you think about pizza, or ice cream, or really anything with enough grease on it that if applied to a brick wall, you could see through to the other side. Now these are all certainly staples of the “munchied” world that should never be overlooked, but who’s to say that those of us who indulge in cannabis don’t also enjoy the occasional healthy meal.
That’s why I decided to let the good people of Colorado know about a place that I frequent on the regular. A place called “TAG | RAW BAR.”
TAG | RAW BAR, which I will refer to as Raw, mainly because it sounds cool, and I don’t want to confuse you with its more upscale sister restaurant (simply named TAG), is the most recent venture of chef Troy Guard. Everything on the menu is for the most part, as you might have guessed, raw!
There is a common Asian theme found throughout the dishes as well, most likely due to the time that Troy spent both traveling and training in the Pacific. And whether I am heavily medicated or not, Raw is a place that I find myself typically once a week; however, this time…I was definitely medicated.
I had just come across a bag of some extremely potent herb called OG Sin. My first thought was that this was just another one of the hundreds of OG Kush crosses going around. It seems like everywhere you look there are different varieties and crosses of OG Kush that seem pretty damn similar, and when the serious “kushheads” are confronted about this, their answer is always the same - it usually goes something like this; “No, no, no dude. The Stegosaurus OG is Sour Diesel x OG Kush while the Walter Matthau OG is OG Kush x Sour Diesel. To which I simply reply “Oh…right, how could I have forgotten. I loved “Grumpy Old Men!”
Anyway, this was surprisingly crisp and different than what I had been expecting. Apparently OG Sin is a 3 way cross of OG Kush x Sour Diesel (the Matthau), but with Cinderella 99 thrown into the mix. The nose was very powerful and reminiscent of a solid OG, but the structure of the buds as well as the smoke is where I could really tell that there was some Cindy in there. The buds were all popcorn style, but very dense, and dark green, and the taste was simply sublime. The smoke carried notes of grapefruit from the Cinderella and a deep muskiness from the OG and Sour. Amazing. One of those types of herb that you want to continue smoking it simply because of the taste, but beware, she definitely packs a nice sativa style punch.
After medicating at a friend’s house in the downtown area, we decided to walk over to Raw. Even though it was the middle of January, it just happened to be 60 degrees and sunny, making for a very pleasant walk with a head full of the OG Sin. We went back and forth with stupid puns like “It should be a Sin to grow OG this good” or “I haven’t wanted to Sin this bad since that time I saw Jessica Biel doing lunges in the park!” This went on for about 10 minutes until I realized that we had already made it to Larimer square and were sitting at the bar at TAG Raw with our server looking at us like “What the hell is wrong with you two? Really? Jessica Biel? Are you high?”
Upon sitting down at Raw, you are greeted almost religiously by the phrase “Poppycock!” The first couple times I heard this I was a little caught off guard and had to be sure that I had properly zipped my fly, but eventually gathered that this was the name given to the complimentary appetizer given upon arrival. The poppycock is composed of kombu (fried seaweed) and caramel corn that is completely addicting. After this, we decided to start with a Ceviche of raw Salmon and Yellowtail halfway submerged in fresh grapefruit Juice and a little red onion. It was so good that we fought over whom got to drink the remaining grapefruit juice at the bottom of the glass.
Next, we had a Hangar Steak Tataki that was served with pickled Fresno peppers and a Korean Chili Sauce. The steak was just barely touched to a heating mechanism so as to give it just a little bit of color, but still maintaining the raw aspect of the meat. This too was amazing. It was perfectly spicy and the meat couldn’t have been any more tender. I would love to have a pile of this meat to make amazingly dank steak sandwiches with for many days to come, but was happy with just a taste.
If these 2 appetizers weren’t enough, we also decided to split a rice bowl, which came adorned with an ample amount of raw Ahi Tuna, sushi rice, an array of mixed vegetables, and a sauce that was so amazing I pondered pouring it in my pockets to take home. In between shoveling sushi grade tuna in my mouth and zoning out, I managed to ask the chef what comprised such an amazing sauce. He said that it was a vinaigrette put together with soy sauce onion and truffle oil. There it was, the magic “T” word. So after hearing just how amazing this sauce actually was, I did in fact attempt to put some in my pocket; although the only thing to come of this was a ruined pair of pants and a dog that thought my crotch smelled like heaven.
Our entire meal was utterly divine and when the check came out it was still under $30. To me, that is completely insane. Two people ate as well as you could ever wish to eat for about $15 a piece? This is why I continue to come back here, and on any given afternoon you will see me posted up at the bar with glazed eyes and pants that smell reminiscent of soy truffle vinaigrette (I couldn’t just throw them out, they were my favorite pants…plus, it would have broken my dog’s heart) enjoying some of the amazing fare found at TAG | RAW.
TAG | RAW BAR
1423 Larimer Street, Suite 010
Denver, CO 80202