Desserts, like everything else, bounce back and forth. Steamed chocolate cake, a molten chocolate confection, is tasty but odd for an Asian menu, even if it is dusted with Chinese five-spice powder, and the portion seems small after so many large plates. Better is the chai cheesecake sourced from City Bakery (a common special), or a refreshing shaved ice.

Tom kha soup at Ace, $7. See also: Behind the Scenes at Ace
Mark Manger
Tom kha soup at Ace, $7. See also: Behind the Scenes at Ace
The ginger-soy steamed bass dish at Ace, $14. See also: Behind the Scenes at Ace
Mark Manger
The ginger-soy steamed bass dish at Ace, $14. See also: Behind the Scenes at Ace

Location Info



501 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Central Denver


See also: Behind the Scenes at Ace

Tom kha $7
Bao buns $3-$4
Pork shumai $4
Crispy Brussels sprouts $6
Kale salad $5
Green papaya salad $5
Green beans $4
Crispy beef $12
Chow fun noodles $12
Soba noodles $12
Mapo tofu $8
Red-curry beef $12
Ginger-soy steamed bass $14
Chocolate steamcake $5Chai cheesecake $6
Shaved ice $4

501 East 17th Avenue

Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Friday; 2 p.m.-midnight, Saturday-Sunday

When Ace opened in August, diners didn't fully embrace the reinterpreted Asian concept. So this month, Biederman and Wolkon plan to respond with a revised menu, increasing the number of familiar dishes — the Brussels sprouts and chai cheesecake will move from special to regular status — and adding individual-sized entrees at lunch. In this age, when Yelpers are quick to jump in with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, it's useful to remember that new restaurants are works in progress. With time to tweak, cheers might be coming more consistently from the dining room, and not just the ping-pong hall.

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jenna-furrr topcommenter

The Jungle Nuts at Ace are rad--especially with a bitter lemon phosphate. Good review, Gretchen!--and I totes agree about the kale salad.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

While I take Gretchen's point that new restaurants are "works in progress" my view is that they should have the kinks worked out early on or not be charging full price for their experiments.  A three month "soft opening" as is granted by Westword and many other publications, means that all too often diners are paying full price for less than what may or may not become top notch offerings down the line.

Mantonat topcommenter

@Denver Dave I've often thought the same thing. Why do diners rush to overcrowded, hip new restaurants only to have the chef experiment on them at full price? I was pleasantly surprised at Adrift when I went there about 6 weeks after they opened. My wife and I had several cocktails, which the bartender ended up discounting because he said they were still perfecting the recipes. They were all great cocktails and he ended up with a bigger tip, so everybody won. Three months should be more than enough time to "work out the kinks." If something still isn't good after that, it's just plain bad food.

Jonny G
Jonny G

@steveville @Denver Dave 

I'm sorry, but I have to say you're incorrect across the board on your comments.  Until a restaurant is open, there is no way they can predict their level of business, and a dish that may work well in a test kitchen might not fly under the stress of 500 covers a night.  The right to change and filter what doesn't work for what might seems fair--even while making us pay full price.  And also, it would be irresponsible for a publication to write up a restaurant early in its development (when you think the place probably gets reviewed once every 2 years, if they hang around).  An early bad review could kill a business.  I'd say if you're that concerned about the 15%% discount you'd be bucking for, you might be better served being at a more established spot and skip the expected kinks that accompany the excitement of checking out an opening.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

@Jonny G Which is exactly why I don't rush in to a new restaurant right away.  Too often disappointing.