Restaurant Peek: ZO Sushi and Thai
1275 E.1st Avenue | Broomfield, CO 80020 | Tel: 720-566-0161
Mon-Fri 11:00am – 2:30pm 4:30pm – 9:30pm | Sat-Sun 11:00am – 9:30pm
Photos and article by Annie Guo, Asian Avenue magazine
Having heard many recommendations to try this restaurant, we finally had the opportunity to visit for a restaurant peek. What we experienced was the best of two worlds: sushi and Thai.
ZO Sushi and Thai recently opened its second location in Aurora after experiencing great business and feedback from its Broomfield restaurant which has been opened since 2006. Owners Paul and Kay Pholtanawat not only have MBA degrees, they also have hands-on restaurant management experience. The husband-wife duo has more than a decade of experience working, managing and cooking in restaurants both in Denver and in Thailand.
As you can imagine, the restaurant offers a wide selection of entrees featuring Japanese and Thai cuisines. The Japanese offerings go beyond what’s made at the sushi bar, but also popular dishes such as udon noodles and teriyaki chicken. During our visit, Paul who is also the head sushi chef served us the Sparky Roll—tuna, yellowtail, salmon, cucumber roll topped with masago—and the Sweet Dream Roll—shrimp tempura, spicy mayo and my favorite, cream cheese. Other fun rolls include the ninja roll, spice girl roll and even a pizza sushi roll—that’s all I’m going to say. You must see what’s in them for yourself!
The Thai menu is plentiful and eclectic. We were served the Panang Salmon—fresh salmon sautéed in thick panang curry sauce with coconut milk, lime leaf and basil. The dish was adorned with a beautifully cut garnish made of pumpkin. Speaking of Paul’s unique use of pumpkin, he also makes a fierce pumpkin curry, aThai red curry mixed with pumpkin and bell pepper. Delicious curries, sweetened noodles and the uniquely named jungle rice—Thai-style roasted chili fried rice with shrimp and chicken, baby corn, carrot, onion, asparagus—top off the menu. The restaurant prides itself in providing authentic Thai, prepared by the expert Thai chef himself.
“I enjoy talking to people and making good food,” said Paul. “I’m into the customer and like to see how everything’s going. My life is making food here.”
The couple has always wanted to open their own restaurant. Paul’s experience in sushi restaurants allowed him to learn and train with the finest sushi chefs for more than ten years. “I like cooking and creating new things,” he said. “It was our time to open a second location because we needed to expand.” The space next to a bustling coffee house and boba shop opened up and the Pholtanawat’s stepped in to remodel by adding stone walls and modern lighting. When the Aurora location opened a few months ago, Paul experienced many new customers eager to give Thai food a try. He said, “Thai food is not big yet in Colorado, but when customers eat it, they love it.”
Patrons not only love the quality of the food, but the reasonable pricing. ZO Sushi and Thai offers a daily happy hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
While elephants represent good luck in Thailand, “zo” means elephant in Japanese which represents the blending of the two cultures—exactly what the restaurant delivers!
Yellow Tail $4.25
Crispy Sushi Roll $6.95
Tuna, salmon, avocado fried tempura
Spicy Dynamite on top of California roll
Salmon Fire Roll $8.75
Salmon, cucumber, avocado, scallions w/spicy fire
Deep-fried Fish – Pla Rad Prig $10
Fried tilapia fillet sautéed in garlic, sweet chili sauce with bell pepper
Pineapply Curry $10
Red curry with pineapple, zucchini, and bell pepper in coconut milk