Lotus Vegetarian drew my vegan friend down from Boulder; was it worth the drive?

Some friends are always asking when they can join me for a review dinner. I try to explain the not-so-glamorous reality: They don't get to order what they want (not everyone likes octopus and oysters) and they have to carry the weight of the conversation, since I'm too busy eating to be a very good companion. Other friends don't ask at all, like my vegan friend who lives in Boulder, since it's a rare restaurant that fits the way she eats. But when I decided to visit Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant, a Vietnamese vegetarian -- and nearly vegan -- restaurant that opened in September, I gave her a call and invited her to join me on one of my review meals. See also: Lotus Vegetarian now open in the former home of Vietnam Grill Despite a sky that threatened to dump (and did, on her way back to Boulder), she joined me at the hole-in-the-wall on South Federal Boulevard, driving up and down because her map program had directed her to the wrong address and only finding it because I'd told her to watch for the bright pink façade.

Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant had high standards to live up to; it took over the former location of Vietnam Grill, our Best Vietnamese Restaurant in the Best of Denver 2013.

What did my friend -- a trained baker, skilled cook and animal-eschewing eater -- think of our meal there? She thought the food was uneven, but that a few dishes were worth the drive. Find out what I -- a professional, omnivorous critic -- thought when my review of Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant is posted on westword.com tomorrow.

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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz