The Mile High City is home to a lot of restaurants, and among them are hidden gems and incredible dishes some locals just aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food luminaries to share with us their favorite dishes and under the radar recommendations for Dining Confidential.
Pastry chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom has little time away from Spuntino, the restaurant she owns with husband and chef John Broening. On her spare time, however, she returns to these three places: Acorn, the RiNo restaurant owned by Bryan Dayton and Steve Redzikowski, the House of Kabob, a Middle Eastern eatery, and New Saigon, the popular Vietnamese restaurant on Federal.
"I really like what Acorn is doing. I particularly love their shawarma: thin slices of lamb, tender and flavorful, shishito peppers, feta cheese, chickpea panisse, tzatziki sauce and harissa. Some of my favorite ingredients, all in the same dish.
I always order the Persian eggplant at the House of Kabob: Dip your fresh pita in this warm, creamy concoction of oven roasted eggplants, onions, garlic. Ok, eggs as well. I know the combination might not sound attractive but trust me, it's utterly delicious. Try to grab with every bite a few pieces of the tomato and the pickles topping the eggplant and you'll want to order a second one right away.
While in Vietnam, I first tasted this crispy head-and-shell-on fresh water prawn at one of the food stands in Ben Thanh Night Market. I became obsessed with it so I was beyond thrilled to discover here in Denver an equally delicious version: New Saigon's Tôm rim. It is spicy, savory, a little sweet... try to get as much flavor from the shell and the head where all the umami is.