Leaf is the best vegetarian restaurant in Boulder, Colorado. It's actually one of the few left in this city filled with athletic individuals. Everyone assumes that Boulder would be filled with lots of vegetarians, but my vegetarian friend who lives there says that ain't so. He finds it difficult to find vegetarian food and/or friends despite the sometimes obsessive attitude towards fitness in this city.
I have fond memories of the meals I've had at Leaf in the past. It's a vegetarian restaurant that's very vegan friendly. The decor is the same as it was when I was there over four years ago. The Mooi Random lights still hang from the ceiling creating a contemporary look and feel with exposed brick walls and light wood tables. I liked the open feel and the warmth from the floor to ceiling window on the street side.
I started with a Bag End, which is a cocktail made with Bulleit Bourbon, Fonseca Bin, 27 port, maple, and Bilbo's Bitters. So good.
My friend, Corey, was starving so we started with three small plates! The Buffalo Cauliflower was by far my favorite. This buffalo sauce encrusted cauliflower was served atop a "blue cheese dressing" that tasted like a tahini sauce with sliced celery and grated carrots. Yum.
We also tried the Avocado Tartare -- a tartare with an avocado base topped with marinated and dried crimini mushrooms, and cucumber-orange pico de gallo. Scoop some in an endive leaf and you are good to go. This one was okay, but not nearly as good as the cauliflower.
For my dish, I ordered the Mushroom Burger, which is a burger made of portobello mushrooms, quinoa, and walnuts served with Daiya vegan cheese, pepper jelly, and pickled red onions. It was hearty and good, but I think it needed more sauces or more seasoning. The salad it was served with was great -- with sunflower seeds, sunflower sprouts, and pickled onions.
It was a lazy weekday lunch and the service was attentive. The burger was only $10 and the small plates $7 so relatively cheap. I must say that this restaurant didn't blow me away the way it did on the first visit -- the food was good, but not great. I'll definitely be back, but am hoping they'll add some more exciting dishes to their menu soon.
August 17, 2011
Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant
2010 16th Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302