Sometimes the food isn’t so important. You want ambience. It could be the pub with the dark bar, the diner with the neon and the jukebox, the Italian joint with the checkered tablecloths and the operatic soundtrack.
Or maybe this: the “fancy” Chinese place beside the mall that has held steady since the 1970s, a pagoda’d, fountained, red-and-gold-painted, dragoned, aquariumed, Buddha-garnished, Lazy-Susaned, drink-parasoled, plastic-orchided sprawl. You want the atmospheric background music, the familiar “house specials” (moo shu pork, Happy Family) and the green-tea ice cream.
If this mood strikes in Boulder, then head toward the Target on 28th and look for the joint with the pagoda motif and big parking lot — a.k.a. the Golden Lotus.