After spending the day walking along Pearl Street and avoiding intermittent rain in Boulder, my parents and I went about finding a suitable restaurant for dinner. My mother came prepared with an entire list of restaurants, of course, and the one that most appealed to me was Leaf Restaurant. Multiple people recommended that we check out The Med and while it looked great, we were all looking forward to a more unique dining experience.
Aji, is owned by the same person/people/entity as Leaf and when it was apparent my party of three wouldn't be seated in under an hour the friendly hostess offered to seat us in Aji while being served food from Leaf.
The atmospheres at Aji and Leaf are quite different; Aji has a much more vibrant color palette (suitable for its Latin American cuisine) while Leaf employs subdued earth tones in its decorations. Admittedly it was a bit strange to eat in Aji while eating Leaf's food, but it was a great option for us as we had exhausted our Boulder to-do list and were ready to eat.
Regardless of where we sat, the food was incredible and the staff was super helpful. I ordered the raw lasagna, made with zucchini and summer squash "noodles," spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, marinara, and cashew ricotta. I should have taken a picture but, for some reason, resisted. The presentation was spectacular. The lasagna came out in an almost perfect square shape and looked beautiful.
Of course I'm sure you're asking, "But how did it taste?!" It was magnificent. I originally didn't gravitate to this option because it mentioned "noodles;" in fact the noodles were very thinly sliced zucchini and summer squash so the dish was totally gluten free. The vegetables tasted fresh, the portion was pretty large, and the cashew ricotta was unbelievably tasty. I really could not tell that there was no dairy in the cheese. It was also used to perfection in the dish, which didn't include too much or too little of cheese.
For dessert I chose the flourless chocolate cake. There isn't much to say... I didn't love the dish. It was extremely dense and not that delicious.
Regardless of the disappointing dessert, I would definitely recommend Leaf Restaurant to the discerning Celiac, vegan, or vegetarian. The menu is large, the options are varied, and the food was delicious. At worst, you can always skip dessert at the restaurant and pick up your favorite dessert from the local Whole Foods.
Do you love it or do you love it?
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2010 16th Street
Boulder, CO 80302 (Map)