ans-lemongrass-grill-interior-denver-june-2009An’s Lemongrass Grill
1617B California Street
downtown Denver
Bus directions: take the mall shuttle from Market Street Station

An’s Lemongrass Grill caught my eye on a recent walkabout of downtown Denver. I visited it Tuesday on a rainy June day when the high reached only the fifties. It was one of those days that reminded me how unpredictable spring can be in Colorado. Fall is generally a much better time to visit, weather-wise.

An’s, slightly off the mall toward 17th Street, had a well-designed logo, but I couldn’t get a decent picture of the exterior. The interior was well-designed, unless you want to go to the hard-to-find bathroom during a rush. The menu is a bit cheeky—”Asian Portion,” “Texas Portion,” “Main Course”—but what I noticed first was the overabundance of plastic. No compostables here.

Even the table looked to be made of plastic with a bamboo pattern. Of the two dishes I ordered—main course with brown rice and chicken, and crab and asparagus soup—the soup was better. ans-lemongrass-grill-main-course-and-soup-denver-june-2009Cloudy with shreds of crab and slices of white asparagus, it tasted of the latter with a hint of crab. There was too much brown rice for me in the Asian portion, and the chicken tasted precooked and warmed over.

The downtown lunch crowd flowed in and out of An’s when I was there; obviously the food and the plastic containers suited them better than me. One of the awards hanging on the wall dated to 2002. Maybe it was an off-day.

After lunch, I crossed California to visit the Denver Visitor Information Center at the “California Mall,” which used to include a food court, though the shadows of those words are not visible in this picture. The visitors center is to the left of the orange question mark.calif-mall-downtown-denver-tourist-info-june-2009 I recommend it for visitors and residents alike; I had never heard of the Purple Martini bar in the Tabor Center, for example. You can buy tickets to events in Denver at the center, and there are several people there ready to help you find entertainment.

My final stop of the day solved a mystery. I’d seen this store and called it “Cottrell’s,” cottrells-and-only-in-colorado-16th-street-mall-denver-june-2009but that was the name of a former department store, possibly a locally owned one. The contemporary store, Only in Colorado, is one of three on the mall owned by two brothers (and another works for them) named Young Chung. According to the clerk at the Welcome to Denver Store down the mall a few blocks, the three brothers have different middle names.

It was confusing for both of us.

At Only in Colorado, the neatness of the T-shirt racks astounded me. I wanted to buy the T-shirt that read, “If you don’t speak to your cat about catnip, who will?” There was no fitted version, so I settled for a hot pink Denver T-shirt.

Only in Colorado is THE place to get a touristy T-shirt in downtown Denver.only-in-colorado-interior-16th-street-mall-denver-june-2009 The other stores have similar merchandise but are much smaller. One or more of these stores has been in business on the mall for 40 years. They sell sand paintings and moccasins, small Western sculptures (some of the Mill Creek Studios creations were appealing), leather hats (“USA” on the top label, “Made in China” on the one underneath), and “genuine Indian handcrafted jewelry,” though I didn’t see any certificates of authentication.
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Leave A Comment

  1. Tom Gurney July 4, 2009 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    The brown rice and chicken looks very nice, but maybe thats because i am hungry 🙂
    As a brit heading over to North America for the first time soon, the photos are very interesting too, and gives me something to look forward to!
    .-= Tom Gurney´s last blog ..Alphonse Mucha Art – Alphonse Mucha Prints, Posters & Paintings =-.

  2. Beth Partin July 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Tom, let me know how your trip goes. Are you coming all the way to Denver?
    .-= Beth Partin´s last blog ..MonHaibun: Foxy Moron =-.