Cafe Society

Reader: With Denver strangely lacking in vegetarian spots, Lotus is a welcome addition

As Gretchen Kurtz concluded her review of Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant, "if you order carefully at Lotus, you'll likely go home happy." In response, a couple of readers offered their own must-order dishes, including the banh xeo "omelette" Kurtz mentioned, and the stuffed tofu in tomato sauce. And if she wants more flavor, there's always Srirachi, pointed out another. See also: Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant dishes out compassion, uneven flavors

And Jeff has more suggestions:

I just read your print version of this "review" of a vegetarian restaurant. The misleading headline is "Fishing for Flavor" and the last two words are "fish sauce". Strange. Do your reviews of steak houses begin and end solely focusing on vegetables?

Lotus is purely a VEGETARIAN/VEGAN restaurant, something that Denver is strangely lacking. Most who go there are NOT looking for imitation flesh, we are looking for great non-animal dishes. Since they do offer some imitation dead animals, it is fine to comment on that in a real review; however, to make it the focus totally misses the point and is unfair. As a vegetarian and based on the fishy headline, had I not known of Lotus already, I would just skipped the review.

From the perspective of someone who has eaten at Lotus over a half dozen times, I would agree with a few of the points of the reviewer. However, what the reviewer might label as bland I would label as natural flavor - letting the food speak for itself without hiding the subtle inherent flavors. I usually love far stronger seasonings than most people, but I also love to let the plant flavors alone. Thuy, the chef at Lotus does a great job of subtle flavors and where I have wished for a more bite, just adding some hot sauce and soy sauce made the flavors wonderful.

Once you get used to the more natural food at Lotus, it is hard to eat at the other Asian restaurants. One night we went to a nearby place that we used to like. The goopy and salty or sugary sauces are now repulsive. The thinner curry and kung pao sauces at Lotus may be a bit thin, but are now far preferable to what I used to eat just a few months ago.

I've have introduced Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant to over a dozen people. All have loved it and all have gone back or plan to do so. This is a great vegetarian restaurant that many of us have been wishing for. It is fantastic to have one more restaurant where the ENTIRE menu is vegetarian friendly and most of it vegan friendly.

Recommendations: Banh xeo (10 on the menu) -- the "omelette" mentioned in the article and I8 (forget the name) -- a stuffed tofu dish.

What do you think of the local vegetarian/vegan scene? Read more comments on Lotus here, and if you missed the discussion of our list of the Five Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Denver, find it here.

Danielle LiretteLotus Vegetarian Restaurant honors its Buddhist inspiration.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun