Because Richard Sandoval has so many restaurants to keep track of, because he is one of those multi-unit chefs who seems driven to collect addresses the way some kids collect baseball cards, he has no day-to-day control over his properties. He sets a concept, writes a menu, staffs up with trusted lieutenants, (sometimes) trains a crew and then unlocks the doors. His business is not so much about creating great restaurants as it is about creating great food-service machines that can run flawlessly in his absence. But there’s nothing wrong with that -- so long as customers understand the situation going in. Richard Sandoval is not assembling your tacos. His chef de cuisine is; it’s his job to translate Sandoval’s vision to every plate.
And what do you get on every plate? Well, to find out that you’re just going to have to check out this week’s review of Sandoval’s newest: La Sandia in the Stapleton development. Following that, we’ve got a discussion about celebrity chefs and why they (with the exception of Sandoval) so adamantly refuse to come to Denver, some news about the recent closures and a visit to an old favorite Sandoval address: Zengo over on Little Raven Street.
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Oh, and I also get to kick Rocco DiSpirito around a little more. That’s always fun. -- Jason Sheehan