Recognizing that Dining Guide is one of the most utilized sections of our magazine and website, we’ve made some improvements. By the end of the week the searchable online database of area restaurants will become even more useful—look for the following changes:

  • Where we like to eat: Restaurants recognized for stellar performance within the last year (as designated by inclusion in stories such as “Best New Restaurants” or “Dining in Denver”) will be flagged as a 5280 Pick. Selections are at the discretion of 5280 editors and critics, and are subject to change at any time.
  • Easier to find: Link to a Google map for a magnified view of the surrounding neighborhood with the selected restaurant clearly marked.
  • Portable info: Printable versions allow you to take dining information (eatery address, phone, description and the Google map) with you.
  • Simplified neighborhood categories: We call out areas with high concentrations of restaurants (Cherry Creek, Downtown, Central Denver, and Boulder). The rest of the metro area falls into four quadrants: northwest metro, northeast metro, southwest metro, southeast metro.
  • Streamlined cuisine: To avoid overlap and confusion, we’ve refined the cuisine categories (instead of having sushi, Asian, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese categories, simply search under Asian).

These changes will also be reflected in the magazine starting with the September 2006 issue (due out the last week in August).

For two-months, Karma, the tiny new coffee shop and cafe located next to LoLa in East Highland, has been serving up a vegan menu, raw-food specials, gluten-free pastries, and organic coffee. The tiny space’s apple-green walls, red door, and bowl of “karma-isms”—quotes and sayings for the taking—exude a groovy, friendly vibe. So far the spot delivers: The sandwich board offers selections such as FBLT (“fakin'” bacon, lettuce, and tomato) but we love the Pavarati: A gluten-free pita pocket stuffed with lettuce, olives, tomato, cucumber, red onion, (and for nonvegans feta or Cheddar) tossed in a tahini dressing. Karma also serves scones, muffins, and treats made by Capitol Hill’s

WaterCourse Foods—don’t miss the decadent lemon-poppyseed cookie. 1575 Boulder St., 303-455-2533,

In the past year we’ve heard rumors that Emma’s (603 E. Sixth Ave.) was closing. So when we called last week and the answering machine said the eatery was shuttered for renovations, it seemed a little fishy. We caught up with owner Garren Austin and he confirmed the sad news. Emma’s is indeed gone—and already being renovated into an Asian restaurant. Austin and his wife Linda are focusing their energies on Mona’s, their second restaurant. The plan: Adding dinner service to their popular Confluence Park breakfast-lunch spot. Starting at the end of August, Mona’s will serve dinner seven nights a week. The menu is still in the works but Austin says entrées will be reasonable (nothing over $15) and fun and funky—like’s Emma’s when it first opened. “We’ll transfer a few things over, like halibut-stuffed pobalano relleno and the smoked trout pâte. We may very well offer a banana split.” As for Emma’s, Austin says, there will be one last hurrah to commemorate the late-restaurant; stay tuned for details. 2364 15th St., 303-455-4503.

—Amanda M. Faison

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.