To those perpetual sufferers of the travel bug: Look online at pictures of Guilin, China, and tell me honestly that your heart doesn't quicken and your jaw doesn't drop.
Though it's beyond me that anyone from a place that hauntingly beautiful would ever leave, Tanya Baros, the owner of newly opened Yellow Mountain Tea House (2616 W. Colorado Ave., 229-9986) did just that, and you can see Guilin's aesthetic influence on her shop's gorgeous design at her Facebook page.
Baros, via "very relaxing" tea ceremonies in the $3 to $5 range as well as free samplings among 50 Chinese teas, is clearly creating more of an experience than just a retail run at Yellow Mountain. Pending approval of her request for a grease trap, she's hoping to also launch a breakfast and lunch service with Chinese and American items in the coming months.
For years, it was the House of Yakitori 7. Next, it was Sengchanh Thai Cuisine. And then back to House of Yakitori 7, when for an unknown reason (considering that the grub was good) the Thai didn't get much traction. I'm talking about the eatery at 7525 N. Academy Blvd., which under new owner and Thailand native Suwanna Meyer, has once again returned to the land of curry and silken coconut milk, now called Chaang Thai (chaangthaicos.com).
Meyer, with five years food-service experience locally among The Broadmoor's Lake Terrace Dining Room, NaRai and the recently retired Taste of Thai Spice, is a first-time restaurateur. She says she's focused on freshness, authenticity and healthiness, which includes not using MSG. Her menu of classics will feel familiar to Thai fans. And sensing the same desire from former Yakitori 7 patrons that previous owner Jessica Vongnarat experienced, Meyer has kept a small teriyaki offering alive, too.
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• The Broadmoor (1 Lake Ave., broadmoor.com) opened its new Italian concept, Ristorante Del Lago, this past Monday, replacing what was previously Charles Court. Also in the Broadmoor West building, which just saw a $54 million infusion, Natural Epicurean aims to open its doors June 18. That eatery will be devoted to "healthy, wholesome, organic and natural" foods, in a sustainably designed setting. We'll have more on both dining destinations soon.
• The inaugural World Food Festival will take place Sunday, June 1, at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort (3225 Broadmoor Valley Road, worldfoodfest.com). Tickets to sample from among 30 food and drink vendors in total, between 1 and 4 p.m., are $140 per couple. Live music and a marketplace bazaar featuring international craft products will also be featured.