Having grown up in St. Petersburg, Florida, I associate February with “cold” weather (temperatures hovering in the 60s) and bright citrus, usually picked from a neighbor’s fruit tree.
So when I tried the pomelo salad at week-old Aloy Modern Thai (located in the former Trillium space), I was immediately transported home. The pomelo is a citrus native to Malaysia that resembles a large grapefruit and tastes similar. The pink flesh of the pomelo offered a burst of fresh citrus, which was balanced with the salty crunch of roasted coconut flake and fried red onion. Perfumed with finely julienned Kaffir lime leaves and topped with a skewer of tofu seasoned with a spicy tamarind dressing (a family recipe), this starter highlighted the in-season citrus while offering complex Thai flavors. For a twist, you can also substitute the tofu for shrimp.
Although Aloy Modern Thai is new, it’s the second Front Range Thai restaurant from sisters Bo Bean and Arisa Chanchokpong. While Aloy Thai in Boulder focuses on more traditional Thai dishes (many of which are inspired by their mother’s treasured family recipes), the new Denver outpost is decidedly different. You’ll find the same fresh, local ingredients and a few of those staple family recipes, but many dishes have been modernized and updated to reflect the current culinary scene in Bangkok.
To best experience the Ballpark restaurant’s wide range of exciting, vibrant dishes, opt for a few small plates to share. The lemongrass-and-miso flavored mighty mussels, tar tar tuna on a crispy rice cake, or smoked Verlasso salmon with Asian pear, yuca chips, and orange aïoli served in a jar are all fine options. Whatever you do, be sure to order the pomelo salad as a palate-cleansing starter. This winter salad will be a fixture on the menu as long as the pomelo remains in season.
2134 Larimer St., 303-379-9497