The restaurant space at 472 South Federal Boulevard that has served as home to two Vietnamese-Cajun eateries over the past several year, first Red Claw and then Vietnam Bay
, is now a coffeehouse and karaoke bar called Giot Dang Cafe. The name translates to "bitter drops" in English, a reference to strong Vietnamese coffee that derives its boldness from a blend of arabica and robusta beans.
Bitter drops could also describe the tears shed by fans of the boldly spiced crayfish and other seafood served by the previous tenant, which specialized in Gulf Coast cuisine as interpreted by Vietnamese immigrants who settled near New Orleans and Houston before spreading the odd but delicious mashup to Denver and other cities throughout the U.S.
If you're curious about Vietnamese-Cajun cooking, there's still the Asian Cajun
, at 2400 West Alameda Avenue and to a lesser extent, the Crawling Crab
, at 781 South Federal Boulevard, which hews more closely to traditional Louisiana seafood boils, with only the vaguest hints of Asian influence.