Alma Fonda Fina Owner Opening Mexican Restaurant Cozobi in Boulder | Westword

Alma Fonda Fina Owner Opening Cozobi Fonda Fina in Boulder July 10

The second venture from chef Johnny Curiel is centered on corn nixtamalization traditions and wood-fired cooking techniques.
Cozobi Fonda Fina will debut in the former Masas space.
Cozobi Fonda Fina will debut in the former Masas space. Shawn Campbell
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It took just over a month for chef Johnny Curiel to transform the space at 909 Walnut Street in Boulder into his second restaurant.

The owner of Alma Fonda Fina, a fine-dining Mexican eatery in LoHi, is ready to open Cozobi Fonda Fina on July 10. Reservations are available now via Tock.

Like Alma Fonda Fina, which has been a hit since debuting in December, Cozobi Fonda Fina will highlight Curiel's Mexican heritage. The name is an homage to the Zapotec god of corn, and the menu "is rooted in Mexico’s centuries-old corn nixtamalization traditions and wood-fire cooking techniques that define its rich food history," Curiel shares in a social media post.

The opening comes on the heels of an eventful 2024 for Curiel and his wife and business partner, Kasie Curiel. In March, My Neighbor Félix, which is part of Francois Safieddine's Lotus Concepts group that also includes the ViewHouse and the newly opened Wonderyard, filed a lawsuit against Kasie and Alma Fonda Fina; both she and Curiel, whom she married last year, are former Lotus Concepts employees.
two flautas on a plate
Flautas with beef shank birria, salsa verde, crema agria and frijoles puercos from Cozobi Fonda Fina's opening menu.
Shawn Campbell
The legal action put the future of the new LoHi eatery in jeopardy, but by April, Safieddine agreed to settle. Freed from legal entanglements, Curiel turned his attention to Boulder, where he had the opportunity to take over a space that operated as another fine-dining Mexican concept, Masas, for nearly one year.

"When this came about, it was like a dream come true to come back to the Boulder community," Curiel told Westword at the time, reminiscing about the years he was the executive chef at Dave Query's Centro Mexican Kitchen.

Curiel also notes that Cozobi Fonda Fina isn't a second Alma Fonda Fina. "It's hole-in-the-wall-type food, but in a fine-dining setting," he explains. Growth and expansion, he continues, is "what we have to do at this stage in our career if we want to share our story and continue to share Mexican cuisine."

As at Alma Fonda Fina, he'll be sharing that story at Cozobi Fonda Fina's chef's counter, where guests can order à la carte — one of our favorite ways to dine.

Between Alma Finda Fina, Cozobi Fonda Fina and the upcoming Xiquita, from the team behind Lucina, the metro area's Mexican dining scene is really leveling up.

Cozobi Fonda Fina is located at 909 Walnut Street and will be open from 2 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 to 11 p.m. Friday, 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday and 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday. For more information, follow it on Instagram @cozobifondafina.
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