Ghost of a Chance

Tula deserves to make it.

I eat achiote lamb, a piece of shank and a single chop, both braised, both tasting completely different. The delicate chop is beautiful, bloody-rare and banded with fat, the muscular shank tender and stringy like good stew meat. The chop tastes like young lamb, full of life, the shank like it's been around the block a couple times. A faux cassoulet comes on the side, and each variety of bean (there are at least four) tastes different, too -- like itself, then like itself plus achiote. This plate, composed in a dozen or more discrete, complicated steps, displays the kitchen's impressive, rigorous, pitiless control over flavors.

I don't know if Douglas, his wife, his cooks and his dedicated floor staff are going to be the ones to break the curse at 250 Josephine. I hope they are. They deserve it -- Tula deserves it -- and they're close. Ten tables a day could make or break them. Patio season is coming, and Douglas is spending his Sundays off hunched over a diamond sander, trying to take Tula's patio down to clean cement. He's doing the work himself because he can't afford to hire someone to do it and because it's his place, his life on the line. He doesn't see his kid as much as he'd like, or his wife. But he's a chef now. Six years in or sixty, a chef is judged by what he does, and he's only as good as his next plate, the next head count, the next review.

Tula is hot, and Chris Douglas is the reason why.
Mark Manger
Tula is hot, and Chris Douglas is the reason why.

Location Info


Tula Latin Bistro

250 Josephine St.
Denver, CO 80206

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Central Denver


250 Josephine Street, 303-377-3488. Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Ceviche, three ways: $11
Tamale: $9.50
Tuna nachos: $9
Tilapia: $19
Scallops: $21
Tuna: $20< br>Duck: $22
Pork chops: $18
Achiote lamb: $25

Tula won me over. What happens next is up to you.

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