Danielle Lirette

Zoe Ma Ma

Most Denver diners now realize that the orange chicken of their youth was about as Chinese as Barack Obama. But when Edward Zoe rolled out Zoe Ma Ma in Boulder, he showed that the dishes of his own youth were the real thing. So was the cook: His mother created noodles, dumplings and rice bowls rooted in the family’s native Taiwan, which also showed the influences of northern Shandong Province, where Zoe’s father was from. The place became so popular that Zoe eventually opened a second location, near Denver’s Union Station. While everything on this small but mighty menu is a hit, Zoe Ma Ma also makes the best beef noodle soup in the city. The Taiwanese staple comes laden with tender morsels of a steak’s worth of beef, a handful of baby bok choy and pickled vegetables, and fat chewy noodles, all swimming in a five-spice-inundated broth.