Veggie Girl: Moongate Asian Grill

When I have a craving for sesame tofu, I head to the one restaurant that I know gets it absolutely right: Moongate Asian Grill, at 745 Quebec Street.

Moongate cooks up a variety of Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, with an extensive vegetarian selection -- but I end up ordering the sesame tofu ($7.25 for dinner) every time. And I have yet to be disappointed by fried tofu, which is always silky and soft in the middle, crispy on the outside, and covered with a sauce that's a nice balance of spicy and sweet. Some sesame tofu dishes come drenched with cloying, overpowering sauces, but Moongate hits all the right notes with a sauce that complements not just the tofu, but the fresh steamed vegetables and brown rice.

The portions are generous, too. The photo above shows about a third of a single take-out order, and there was still plenty to share with my husband.

Despite the size of the dish, when I eat at Moongate, I like to start with a bowl of hot and sour soup. Filled with mushrooms and tofu, it has a decent bite, and even my mushroom-phobic husband is a fan.

Moongate, with its clean, contemporary space and excellent food, is understandly popular with the Lowry crowd, and there are also locations in Boulder and Lafayette. I keep hoping the owners will open a downtown restaurant, too. But until then, I'll remain a regular out on Quebec.

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