Dining Out: Daughter Thai and Broadway Roxy

Daughter Thai in the highlands serves creative dishes that are worth a special trip. Catch a show with a great burger and drinks at Broadway Roxy.

Authored by Susan Fornoff & Andrew Weaver

Photo by Joni Schrantz

Daughter Thai Kitchen & Bar

Thai cuisine is often pigeonholed as take-out fare—solid and reliable, best eaten on the couch in PJ pants. This is unfortunate for many reasons. If you’re among the legions who’ve never dined in at a proper Thai restaurant, consider heading to Daughter Thai Kitchen & Bar, new in LoHi this fall, immediately.

The restaurant is the sophomore effort of chef-owner Ounjit Hardacre, who also owns Citizen Thai Bistro in Golden. Hardacre’s mission at Daughter Thai, she says, isn’t simply to cook good food. She wants to educate people about what Thai cuisine can be when it’s done the right way—with intention, thoughtfulness, and intense craft behind every dish. To that end, you’ll find no encyclopedic, kitchen-sink menu at Daughter Thai. The slate of dishes here is small and curated. The typical highlights are dutifully present—Pad Thai ($13), Pad See Ew ($13), Sticky Rice ($4)—but our advice is to skip them on your first visit. The menu’s real gems are those that require some explanation from your server.

The fried quail wings, called Quail Tod ($15), are a good place to start. Marinated with fried garlic and leeks, they’re crisped to perfection and make good vessels for the chili sauce that accompanies them—itself a superb introduction to the type of flavorful heat that characterizes many of the restaurant’s standout dishes. The Bangkok Ribs ($9), which come smothered in a rich glaze of honey palm sugar and black soy sauce, are another no-brainer from the small plates. The Thaigerrr Smile ($24), if you’re craving red meat, is simple but unmissable: six tender rounds of flat iron steak with two sauces—red chili, sweet and sour—served with a grilled puck of sticky rice.

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Tempting though it may be to try them all, don’t stop at the smalls. Save room for large-format dishes like the Deep Fried Whole Striped Bass ($32), a solid portion of white fish brought to life by a spicy-sweet, tamarind-based “secret sauce.” Or go for the Lamb Massaman Curry ($34), perhaps the star of the whole menu, a rack of Colorado lamb with potatoes, cherry tomatoes, peanuts, and shallots, swimming in a lightly spiced coconut curry and accompanied by slices of oiled roti and rice.

All of this deliciousness comes wrapped in the elegant environs of Daughter Thai’s dining room, which is filled with hanging lanterns and gauzy curtains, and presided over by a stately bar. It’s a décor scheme meant to mimic the primary assertion of the menu: This isn’t your typical take-out joint.

Daughter Thai Kitchen & Bar
1700 Platte St., Ste. 140

Photo courtesy of Broadway Roxy

Broadway Roxy

Broadway Roxy opened last summer in the space long occupied by Syntax Physic Opera, a bar known for its eclectic musical offerings. New owner Paula Vrakas would like to take her second Broadway Roxy (no. 1 is in Encinitas, CA) beyond Syntax’s reputation.

“I want Broadway Roxy to be a place where you can see a great show while having a delicious meal and cocktail,” Vrakas says. Soon after moving in, she found a sign that says “WE’RE OPEN FOR MUSIC” and posted it prominently on the bar that covers the south wall. She freshened up the interior to have a bar area—with a house cocktail list of well executed classics—and a main dining room evocative of the Prohibition era.

Then she hired Chris Rasmussen to oversee a gas-less kitchen that is producing surprisingly delicious share plates, sandwiches, and entrées on a menu that will rotate seasonally. His mouth-watering Pastrami Sliders ($12) and Grandma’s Meatballs ($14) aren’t going anywhere, but on their way were an Asian pork tenderloin sandwich with a pho dipping broth and a fun munchie called Denver Frito Pie (Fritos covered in green chili and cheese, to be served in the Frito bag).

The scene at Broadway Roxy varies, depending of course on the music of the evening (or, for weekend brunch), and the kitchen aims to please, modifying to accommodate allergies and diets.

Broadway Roxy
554 S. Broadway