Word of Mouth

Ocean Forest Cafe adds new Sichuan menu

On its website, Ocean Forest Cafe, 11068 West Jewell Avenue, calls itself a "wild and artictic place." While we're not exactly sure what "artictic" means, we almost need to make up a word, too, to properly describe the festive decor in the dining room.

Space aside, though, we're pretty stoked that the place just rolled out a lot of authentic Sichuan items to supplement the Thai and Chinese-American dishes that populate its English menu.

James Wang and Amy Cheng are the husband-and-wife team behind the restaurant, and Wang trained at a culinary school in Beijing before coming stateside and opening a restaurant.

"We focus on Sichuan food, which is spicy and hot," says Cheng. "Our Chinese menu has more traditional Chinese food."

She's referring to the Chinese language menu, which features dishes not translated onto the English version. And it's on the Chinese version that the new Sichuan dishes are listed. But if you can't read the language, fear not -- Cheng promises the plates will be translated by Friday.

In the meantime, she lists a few of the new offerings to get you started: Sichuan cold noodles, Sichuan spicy fish and vegetables, a Sichuan hot pot and a pork bones hot pot, and the Peking lamb hot pot. "It's very popular in Beijing," notes Cheng.

We're in.

For more information, dial 303-980-1259.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk