Boxed Taco livens up the sleepy Athmar Park neighborhood.EXPAND
Boxed Taco livens up the sleepy Athmar Park neighborhood.
Mark Antonation

Westword Watch List: Where and What to Eat Right Now

Recent restaurant closings have begun to take their toll on the Denver dining scene, with old favorites like Beau Jo's exiting Denver city limits this Sunday, July 30, and newcomers like the Thunderbird Imperial Lounge bowing out suddenly in a Highland space that's had trouble gaining traction over the past few years. But there's still plenty of great grub in town — some of it just arriving this week. Take a look at the tacos, Asian street food and breakfast bowls that caught our attention over the past few days, and then read on for our complete list of restaurant and bar openings and closings.

Boxed Taco
650 South Lipan Street
720-261-5080
Boxed Taco is true to its name; the tiny taqueria serves Mexican street food from a shipping container tricked out with a full kitchen. The menu is simple, just three meats — adobada, barbacoa and ribeye asada — but a selection of grilled veggies and a choice of corn tortillas or a burger bun means the configurations are myriad. Order your tacos "mamalon" to score a mound of grilled pineapple, zucchini, onions and nopales, or ask for the barbacoa served crispy for a Guadalajara-style fried taco bursting with meaty flavor. Boxed Taco turns the quiet Athmar Park neighborhood into an instant food destination.

That's not Mexican street corn — it's Cambodian.EXPAND
That's not Mexican street corn — it's Cambodian.
Mark Antonation

Kaya Kitchen at Avanti Food & Beverage
3200 Pecos Street
720-269-4778

You know you're going to order some beefy pho and a banh mi made on a crackly baguette when you hit this brand-new Southeast Asian joint from the minds who have already dazzled your tastebuds at Cho77 and ChoLon. But here's something that you maybe wouldn't think about otherwise: street corn. Sure, you're wondering "Isn't that a Mexican thing?" Kaya's corn is certainly similar to the Mexican spicy, tangy, vibrant snack-on-a-stick, but the real inspiration comes from corn with the works (called poat dot) in Cambodia, where cobs are grilled and slathered with coconut milk, fish sauce, green onions and other herbs and spices. This version is brined with salt and palm sugar and then amped up with sriracha cream, lime, cilantro and a crunchy sriracha spice blend. Get it soon, because the olathe sweet corn that serves as a base has a limited season — and then Kaya will move on to something new.

Get bowled over with new summer dishes at Morning Collective.EXPAND
Get bowled over with new summer dishes at Morning Collective.
Courteys of Morning Collective

Morning Collective
2160 South Broadway
303-953-9943
This South Broadway breakfast and lunch stop is rolling out some summer specials; the Heirloom Bowl, in particular, bursts with fresh flavor. Sunset-hued tomatoes share a bowl with fingerling potatoes, poached eggs and decadent ricotta fritters. A drizzle of herbed oil brightens the whole dish, which would perk up any breakfast or lunch. Other new bowls include a smoked salmon number that captures the magic of a lox platter, only with cream-cheese bread pudding in place of a bagel; and the Three Little Pigs, with pork belly, chorizo and ham-studded tots. And because not everyone has the same appetite, all of these are available in two sizes. It's time to go bowling on Broadway.

Here's our complete list of restaurant and bar openings and closings for the week of July 24 to 30, 2017:

Restaurants/Bars Opening This Week:*
Bad Axe Throwing, 845 East 73rd Avenue
Barista Coffeehouse, 8966 West Bowles Avenue, Littleton
Boxed Taco, 650 South Lipan Street
The Boulangerie, 1595 South Pearl Street
Crepes n Crepes, 3000 Zuni Street
Downtown Art Gallery and Axe Room, 2000 Lawrence Street
Element Kitchen & Cocktail, 1134 Broadway
Kaya Kitchen (inside Avanti Food & Beverage), 3200 Pecos Street
Pizzeria Lui, 5380 West Mississippi Avenue, Lakewood
Your Pie, 14342 Lincoln Street, Thornton

Restaurants/Bars Temporarily Closing This Week:*
The Bronze Empire (remodel, reopening August 7), 1591 South Colorado Boulevard

Restaurants/Bars Closing This Week:*
Beau Jo's Pizza (Sunday), 2710 South Colorado Boulevard
Gumbo’s Louisiana Style Cafe, 1033 East 17th Avenue
Kin Restaurant, 7950 East Mississippi Avenue
Thunderbird Imperial Lounge, 3759 Lipan Street
Paddy the Yank, 3963 Tennyson Street
Wild Eggs, 300 East Alameda Avenue
Zephyr Brewing (Sunday), 1421 26th Street

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