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Uncle
Ramen and pork buns in LoHi

Do you know about NYC's Momofuku? Probably not, as there's a years-long waitlist to even talk about it, and that'll be $145, please. Luckily, Denver's now got a worthwhile stand-in, with Uncle.

A 40-seater embracing a minimalist Japanese aesthetic and an earth-toned color palette to complement its "Asian comfort food", Uncle's got a chef/owner who isn't shy about inviting comparisons to the world-famous Momofuku Noodle Bar (actually the more casual of the Fukus), but notes that his cuisine also takes cues from the simple Chinese food on which he grew up. That influence is evident in steamed buns stuffed with pork belly/ hoisin/ cucumber (or brisket/ Dijonaisse/ cabbage) and sesame pancakes, and then there's ocean-fresh Kusshi oysters -- just don't tell the hardscrabble fishermen diving for them all day that their job is Kusshi. Then there's these "almost too big" noodle bowls, which run from ramen with pork ribs (spicy lamb and chicken ramen coming soon), to cold, Sichuan noodles with shredded chicken & apple, and finally a Mafa Tofu take with brisket and Sichuan peppers that "numb your tongue and lips", so order it only for your most annoying of dates.

While Uncle's entirely too small for taps, there's an eclectic selection of beers 'n ciders, including South Korea's Hite Rice Beer, Sri Lanka's Lion Stout, and organic cider from J.K.'s Scrumpy, all of which'll ensure that, this time at least, there's no wait for you to get all Fuk'd up.

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1. Uncle 2215 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211

Uncle is a pleasantly boisterous Asian Fusion restaurant in the Highland Parks neighborhood. The chefs' creative takes on ramen dishes are becoming local favorites on its lengthy, diverse menu.

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