Much like its siblings Thai Kitchens 1 and 2, Thai Kitchen 3 can be identified by the distinctive aroma of sizzling garlic and fresh basil that wafts out through its door. In the kitchen, chefs fold fresh seafood, meats, and vegetables into savory curries, nutty noodle dishes, and fiery stir-fries. All meals are made by adhering to time-honored traditional Thai recipes, which favor spicy chili peppers, creamy coconut milk, and tangy ginger root. Servers bring plates of noodles and bowls of soup into the dining room, where guests await their meals as they sip on Thai iced coffee in cushy booths amid warm red and yellow walls. Other diners sit perched on tall red bar stools as they order a cocktail or demonstrate how many times they can twirl around in a circle without even getting dizzy.
At Morning Glory Farm Fresh Cafe, Chef Jules and her kitchen staff reach for local and organic ingredients as they assemble farm-to-table fare that changes with the seasons. When the windowed dining room is flooded with sunlight, the staff whips together gluten-free blueberry pancakes, cracks organic eggs for hearty omelets, and makes soysage from scratch. Later in the day, amid occasional live-music acts on the outdoor patio, they serve a mix of American favorites including meatloaf with mashed potatoes, as well as new takes on classic dishes such as the Sloppy Jules, a mix of tofu, tempeh, and cheese toast. Natural sweeteners pour into a rotating selection of desserts, and Solar Roast coffee fills cups, as do wine, beer, and bottomless mimosas at brunch.
Udon Kaisha's chefs prepare traditional noodle dishes that have been an everyday staple of Japanese life since 206 BC. Spicy morsels of pork, peppers, shrimp, and tofu mingle with udon noodles in salty broths or nestle inside knots of ramen noodles in tangy, sweet soup bases. Authentic yakitori skewers and mussel appetizers prime stomachs for the meal ahead, and dishes of deep-fried bananas and green-tea ice cream silence the final echoes of rumbling bellies. The chefs also prepare servings of grilled salmon and teriyaki beef and fashion flavorful sushi rolls for those with allergies to heat.
With help from their sons, friends, and colleagues, lifelong restaurateurs Rob and Kelly Kukura opened 95a Bistro & Sushi in 2011, winning nearly instant acclaim from Boulder Magazine. The menu draws inspiration from Latin, Mediterranean, and Asian cuisines, showcasing hot and cold tapas such as bacon-wrapped dates and beef carpaccio along with entrees of brie-covered vegetable gnocchi and scottish salmon flavored with smoked-paprika brown butter. Their wide selection of sashimi and nigiri-style sushi includes the Firecracker specialty roll, whose fillings of citrus-aioli-topped crunchy tuna can be heard all the way down the street. The restaurant serves its brunches, lunches, and dinners both inside and on a seasonal outdoor patio overlooking a sprawling lawn.
The coffee is flavored with applewood, cherrywood, and mesquite wood smoke. The co-owner Beka lives for the element of water. But the name of Stone Brewed Coffee Company derives from an even more primordial source?family. Founder Stoney Vance was named after his grandpa Harve Stone, who lived the cowboy life in the Wind River mountains. He liked the hard life on the range, and fueled himself with hot coffee brewed right over his campfire. Stoney stays true to his grandpa's ideals, specializing in plain old black coffee flavored with smoke, and promises that it will never cost more than two quarters a cup. Besides those piping hot mugs, customers can fill up on classic cowboy food such as brisket po' boys, barbecue platters, and chili served in bread bowls.
Smashburger isn't just the name—it's the way chefs grill every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Angus beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. The chefs then sandwich each slab in an artisan bun and turn it into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market. This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the chefs do, from blending handspun Häagen-Dazs shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded to 160 restaurants in five years, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.