Review: Leaf's menu is a passage to adventure -- but the road can get bumpy

Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant 2010 16th Street, Boulder 303-442-1485

When it's time for Rachel Best, executive chef of Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant in Boulder, to update the menu, she doesn't turn to cookbooks or cooking shows. Nor does she rely on what she learned in culinary school, given the traditional emphasis on animal proteins and butter. Instead, this longtime vegetarian goes for a hike. It's there, she says, that "flavor concepts" come to her, memories of foods she's had while backpacking in Nepal, studying in Spain or volunteering in Central and South America.

See also: Behind the Scenes at Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant

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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