On the left, coconut shrimp kicked up with citrus-smoked paprika aioli and jicama-Asian pear slaw, served atop housemade root-vegetable chips. On the right, silken potstickers stuffed with portobellos and potatoes over sundried-tomato-dressed greens.
Under-the-Radar Gem of the Week: Cody’s Cafe and BarBy Ruth Tobias
February 11, 2014
Given its generic name and nondescript strip-mall location, you could easily pass by Cody's 100 times without giving it a second thought. After all, we did just that ourselves, until last weekend. Turns out this little cafe is the quirkiest of treasures: a cozy neighborhood eatery run by an adorable Vietnamese-born chef, Sue Smith, whose Italian menu is vibrantly laced with Asian and Latin influences.
In the art-lined dining room - whose centerpiece painting depicts Smith’s beloved late terrier (whose name was, yes, Cody) - we sampled a number of dishes, each tickling us more than the last. Here’s a look.
10253 E. Iliff Ave.; 303-750-1580
For her take on Vietnamese chao tom - deep-fried shrimp paste on sugarcane skewers - Smith uses crab and lobster meat to succulent effect, drizzling it all in a lightly spicy chili sauce.
Smith uses the same fried crab-and-lobster cakes in tacos with mango pico de gallo and guacamole.
Perhaps our favorite dish was this luscious penne in vodka sauce, chock-full of fried eggplant chunks and pine nuts.
But this signature penne is delightful too, featuring housemade pork-lemongrass sausage and soy-ginger sauce.
Check the blackboard for daily specials, like this rich tostada accompanied by black-bean risotto pilaf. Wash it all down with a local craft beer from the bar - and finally, don't miss the chocolate-and-banana-filled wontons for dessert. Let's just say they were gone before we could capture them on camera.