Denver's ten best Chinese restaurants
Today marks the Chinese New Year, which is a good reason to go forth into one of this city's excellent Chinese joints and feast on meats and vegetables loaded with Szechuan peppers, a vat of soul-warming beef noodle soup, dumplings or something much, much stranger -- duck tongue, pig's blood or shark's fin soup, for example, none of which you'll find in the dollar-a-scoop shops. In celebration of the holiday -- and in the interest of avoiding said dollar-a-scoop joints -- we're updating our list of Denver's five best Chinese restaurants. Here, in no particular order, are our top ten.
Cassandra Kotnik Dumplings at Super Star Asian.
Spice China, 269 McCaslin Boulevard, Louisville
We spend a lot of hours searching out the most authentic representations of Szechuan, Taiwanese and North Chinese specialties this city has to offer, but there's also a special place in our hearts for the more Americanized dishes. Louisville's Spice China definitely has a decent list of more or less authentic Shanghai-based specialties, and it also serves up some of the best Americanized Chinese food -- including kung pao, mu shu and lo mein -- we've had in the area.
King's Land Seafood Restaurant, 2200 West Alameda Avenue
Alameda Square is a good bet for Chinese food, not least because it's home to King's Land Seafood restaurant, a joint that's been turning out a worthy array of dim sum for more than a decade. During prime hours, trolleys roll through the massive 300-seat spot, and the women pushing them plunk down dumplings, porridges, stir-fried vegetables and hard-to-identify parts of animals at each table. Just make sure you get there before 3 p.m., which is when the carts stop rolling.
Zoe Ma Ma, 2010 10th Street, Boulder
Edwin Zoe noticed a lack of real Chinese food in Boulder, so he imported his Chinese mother from a coastal town in Shandong Province to make her recipes and fill the gap. From a tiny space just off the Pearl Steet Mall, Zoe Ma Ma turns out fantastic noodle dishes that span northern Chinese and Szechuan specialties, delicious dumplings and zong zi, bamboo-wrapped packets of rice, pork, mushrooms and lotus seed. And while the regular menu contains satisfying staples, we're most enamored of the daily specials, one of which is the fiery, rib-sticking Szechuan braised-beef noodle soup.