L.V. Torio

About L.V. Torio

L.V. Torio has been around Boulder since the 80's, long enough to have witnessed the Aristocrat Diner's transformation into the Gap for Kids, an event that for him signaled the beginning of the end (with apologies to Greil Marcus) of the "old, weird Boulder." Fortunately, he finds the new Boulder equally weird, not least in the way its food and drink purveyors consistently stir the imagination, enliven the palate, and gratify the gut.
Posts by L.V. Torio

Aji

A riddle wrapped in a mystery topped with ceviche, Aji continually satisfies even as it fails to transport.   We hold them utterly blameless while searching in vain for the source of our tepidness in response.   It cannot be the ocean fare (Brazilian seafood stew, grilled scallop, crab stuffed tiger shrimp, whole Branzini) for it is well-imagined […]

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Hapa

Of the three sushi restaurants within a two block stretch in downtown Boulder, Hapa is the one that fronts mall-side with the anime robot logo and the young waitrons dressed in black featuring, invariably, ample decolletage on display at the hostess dais.  If all that is not annoying or enticing enough, the white cube that […]

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Ras Kassas

Hearing that Ras Kassas offers “Boulder’s finest Ethiopian fare” (as their website proclaims) may strike one along the lines of “ the Buffs are Boulder’s finest college football team” or “those three sandstone slabs are Boulder’s finest flatirons.”  So, to avoid the faint praise attendant upon tautology, let us stipulate that Ras Kassas’s fare is […]

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Chez Thuy

A visitor tootling down Route 36 with a yen for Asian may be unable to distinguish the Golden Lotus mid-strip from Chez Thuy a half-mile north.   But you can, and must.  While both have long thrived in Boulder despite drive-by locations that would murder any upstart without an Apple or a Bee in its name, […]

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Brasserie Ten Ten

One enters the Brasserie with mild trepidation. Will my jeans, my two-day stubble, and my Midwestern wife find our place amidst the fine tableware, the liveried waitstaff, and the Choux-fleur (milk roasted cauliflower…) and Caneton Saisonneir (maple leaf duck confit…)?  Will, for that matter, the “French-inspired” cuisine find its place within ours, the Western faux-sophisticates’, […]

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The Corner Bar

The Boulderado’s conflict-averse middle child, it strives to bridge the considerable gap between the more interesting, innovative Q’s across the lobby and the more interesting, darkling Catacombs in the basement.   As an unabashed house joint for the headlining historic hotel in which it’s embedded, the Corner Bar can rightly claim to be weighed on different […]

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Murphy’s

Take an uninspiring strip mall location, a non-descript Irish name that promises a staunch commitment to the generic, and a menu that lives up to that promise with each Gorgonzola Chicken Salad and Sweet Onion Mushroom Burger and what have you got?  A case study in the value of intangibles, is what, here measured in […]

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North Broadway Coffee Shop (NBC)

Situated in a still (for now) unredeveloped strip mall on North Broadway, NBC is your farmer uncle’s morning hang-out, an unrepentant greasy spoon executed with a charming lack of pretense and a tangible authenticity of spirit. Both are in evidence in the waitstaff’s unharried faces and on the rough stucco walls, where rusty ploughshares and […]

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The Mediterranean

It takes a whole lotta falafel balls to think you can fill 10,000 square feet of primo downtown real estate and not go bust in ten weeks, but The Med’s been doing it for 17 years, so they must be onto something. In fact, they’re onto a lot of things, starting with that expansive interior […]

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Foolish Craig’s

The whispers announcing the arrival of a “crepe place” in downtown Boulder elicited discreet snickers from the foodies and culture-watchers who promptly set the over-under on Foolish Craig’s survival at thirteen weeks.  Now, thirteen years later, the touts are bemusedly shaking their heads while the owners high-five themselves over their winning high-concept, and the lucky […]

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Sherpa’s

Ill-advised under most circumstances, billing your business as an  “Adventurers’ Restaurant and Bar” is a safe play in Boulder, where high-altitude sportsmen and physical extremists of all stripes are local heroes.   The Nepalese/Indian fare here is authentic, aromatic and tasty, and if it comes borne on the arms of half-distracted but genial guys who sometimes […]

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Bacaro

If, as they say, restauranting is all about “location, location, location,” then Bacaro has three things going for it. An original tenant in the attractive Shonkwiler Building on West Pearl, Bacaro has become a fixture in the city’s hip west end on the strength of its unavoidable front patio and it’s spacious, photogenically well-appointed Northern […]

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The Trident

An anthropologist hoping to capture the essence of today’s Boulder could do worse than spend a day in the Trident with dark glasses and a notepad. This coffee shop cum used bookstore is everything our more Starbuckian javajoints aspire to be but aren’t: a meeting place, a haven, a place to debate the morning’s headlines, […]

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George’s (At the Boulder Theater)

For the sake of argument, let’s assume the goal here was to create a space that, in addition to serving pre-show audiences, could attract a small crowd of diners on a couple of off-nights with a food board a notch or two above normal nightclub fare.  Now (since we have established that we are arguing) […]

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Illegal Pete’s

A scrapping contender for burrito heavyweight Chipotle’s belt, Pete’s skews more undergrad, with a less tucked-in vibe — chalk on the specials board, tap beers at the back bar, the occasional rasta dread spilling out of a tortilla-roller’s hair net, and a mild undertow of grit and grease throughout.  The twenty-something staff are less likely […]

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